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Mech Dev. 2000 Dec;99(1-2):139-42.

Differential expression of vasa homologue gene in the germ cells during oogenesis and spermatogenesis in a teleost fish, tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, 444-8585, Okazaki, Japan.


Vas (a Drosophila vasa homologue) gene expression pattern in germ cells during oogenesis and spermatogenesis was examined using all genetic females and males of a teleost fish, tilapia. Primordial germ cells (PGC) reach the gonadal anlagen 3 days after hatching (7 days after fertilization), the time when the gonadal anlagen was first formed. Prior to meiosis, no differences in vas RNA are observed in male and female germ cells. In the ovary, vas is expressed strongly in oogonia to diplotene oocytes and becomes localized as patches in auxocytes and then strong signals are uniformly distributed in the cytoplasm of previtellogenic oocytes, followed by a decrease from vitellogenic to postvitellogenic oocytes. In the testis, vas signals are strong in spermatogonia and decrease in early primary spermatocytes. No vas RNA expression is evident in either diplotene primary spermatocytes, secondary spermatocytes, spermatids or spermatozoa. The observed differences in vas RNA expression suggest a differential function of vas in the regulation of meiotic progression of female and male germ cells.

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