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Nat Rev Genet. 2012 Nov;13(11):781-94. doi: 10.1038/nrg3294. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Genetics of germ cell development.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Whitehead Institute and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA. leschb@wi.mit.edu

Abstract

The germ line represents a continuous cellular link between generations and between species, but the germ cells themselves develop in a specialized, organism-specific context. The model organisms Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and the mouse display striking similarities, as well as major differences, in the means by which they control germ cell development. Recent developments in genetic technologies allow a more detailed comparison of the germ cells of these three organisms than has previously been possible, shedding light not only on universal aspects of germline regulation, but also on the control of the pluripotent state in vivo and on the earliest steps of embryogenesis. Here, we highlight themes from the comparison of these three alternative strategies for navigating the fundamental cycle of sexual reproduction.

PMID:
23044825
DOI:
10.1038/nrg3294
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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