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Genesis. 2006 Feb;44(2):75-83.

Generation of stella-GFP transgenic mice: a novel tool to study germ cell development.

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Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute of Cancer and Developmental Biology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The relationship between germ cells and pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells is of particular interest, together with approaches to generate primordial germ cell (PGCs) from ES cells. A critical requirement in these experiments is the ability to unambiguously detect PGCs with the use of, for example, reporter genes. The currently available transgenic reporters do not show exclusive expression in PGCs at their earliest developmental stages. Here we describe the use of germline-restricted expression of stella, which is currently the best marker gene for PGCs. We generated two stella-GFP reporters and show that both transgenes surpass other reporters in terms of timing and specificity of expression in PGCs. Additionally, we demonstrate the usefulness of stella-GFP during the derivation of PGCs from ES cells.

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