Germline development

Germline development is the development of the cell lineage that gives rise to the reproductive cells, called gametes, of sexually reproducing organisms. Primordial germ cells, the founder cells of the germ line, are set aside in the early animal embryo, and divide and differentiate to produce sperm and egg, the male and female gametes.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Functional genetic screening of mice and other mammals is exceedingly challenging. A CRISPR-based mutagenesis screen in mice has successfully revealed amino acids vital for protein function of the DND1 gene, missense mutations of which lead to defects in primordial germ cell development.

    • Yevgeniy V. Serebrenik
    •  & Ophir Shalem
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 1235-1237
  • News and Views |

    A recent study suggests modulation of luteinizing hormone signalling within the hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis and downstream transcriptional effects caused by sustained ibuprofen use. However, this study cannot be used to draw any clinical conclusions regarding effects of ibuprofen on male androgenic or reproductive health. Thus, the andrological effects of its use remain unclear and would benefit from further investigation.

    • Ajay K. Nangia
    •  & Derek Jensen
  • News and Views |

    Maternal high-fat diet has a negative impact on fertility—including an apparent direct effect on early development. In this issue, a new study connects this phenotype to depletion of Stella protein in oocytes, demonstrating environmental regulation of a maternal-effect gene.

    • Harry G. Leitch
    •  & Petra Hajkova
    Nature Genetics 50, 318-319
  • News and Views |

    Mitochondria contain their own circular mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which, over time, is subjected to mutations that may eventually result in functional defects. A study now describes genetic and metabolic selection processes during germ cell development that prevent accumulation of harmful mtDNA variants.

    • Di Chen
    •  & Amander T. Clark
    Nature Cell Biology 20, 118-120