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 & Views |

    Pachytene Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are abundant small non-coding RNAs expressed in mammalian germ lines. A new study indicates that, among the diverse pool of piRNA sequences, a small number act as highly selective guides that induce cleavage of coding and non-coding transcripts, thus promoting piRNA generation and regulating gene expression.

    • Alexei A. Aravin
    Nature Genetics 52, 644-645
  • News & Views |

    Post-translational histone modifications are important regulators of nuclear reprogramming. A study now reveals that histone lysine demethylase KDM4A-mediated H3K9me3 demethylation in mammalian oocytes is essential for zygotic genome activation and preimplantation development.

    • Julie Brind’Amour
    •  & Matthew C. Lorincz
    Nature Cell Biology 22, 355-357
  • News & 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