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 |

    The maternal diet can impact offspring development, yet the mechanisms responsible for this remain largely unknown. New research shows that oocyte metabolites, specifically NAD+ and the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine, can mediate the impact of maternal nutrient stress on the progeny through metabolic reprogramming in Drosophila.

    • Shuai Zhu
    •  & Qiang Wang
    Nature Metabolism 3, 1148-1149
  • News & Views |

    Mice deficient in the piRNA pathway display sterility only in males. Taking advantage of a more representative piRNA pathway in golden hamsters, three studies now demonstrate that the piRNA pathway is essential for fertility in hamsters of both sexes and thus strongly link this small RNA pathway to fertility regulation in both men and women.

    • Yongjuan Guan
    •  & P. Jeremy Wang
    Nature Cell Biology 23, 936-938
  • Research Highlights |

    A new study in Nature reports a large-scale genome-wide association study of menopause timing, revealing mechanistic details and potential therapeutic opportunities for preserving human fertility.

    • Darren J. Burgess
  • Research Highlights |

    A study in Nature Genetics applies whole-genome sequencing to monozygotic twins, their parents, partners and offspring to identify and characterize early developmental mutations, as well as the fate of mutated cells.

    • Linda Koch
  • News & Views |

    Assembling egg cells involves cytoplasmic and nuclear processes that together enable embryonic development. A study now defines a set of transcription factors required for cytoplasmic, but not key nuclear, processes.

    • Richard M. Schultz
    •  & John J. Eppig