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Mech Dev. 1997 Aug;66(1-2):95-105.

A vasa-like gene in zebrafish identifies putative primordial germ cells.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Norway.


The vasa gene is essential for germline formation in Drosophila. Vasa-related genes have been isolated from several organisms including nematode, frog and mammals. In order to gain insight into the early events in vertebrate germline development, zebrafish was chosen as a model. Two zebrafish vasa-related genes were isolated, pl10a and vlg. The pl10a gene was shown to be widely expressed during embryogenesis. The vlg gene and vasa belong to the same subfamily of RNA helicase encoding genes. Putative maternal vlg transcripts were detected shortly after fertilization and from the blastula stage onwards, expression was restricted to migratory cells most likely to be primordial germ cells.

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