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Haploid Embryonic Stem Cells

Stem Cells

  1. Ni Hong,
  2. Yunhan Hong

Published Online: 30 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.201200003

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Hong, N. and Hong, Y. 2012. Haploid Embryonic Stem Cells. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. National University of Singapore, Department of Biological Sciences, Singapore

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 NOV 2012


The appearance of diploidy – the presence of two chromosome sets within a cell – is a fundamental hallmark of eukaryotic evolution. Diploidy offers the basis for a bisexual life cycle, allowing for oscillation between diploid and haploid phases. Meiosis produces haploid sex cells, known as gametes, and gametes of opposite sexes fuse at fertilization to restore diploidy in a zygote that develops into a new life. At sex maturation, diploid cells undergo meiosis, culminating in the production of haploid gametes. Diploidy is responsible for pluripotency, cell proliferation, and functions, whereas haploidy is restricted only to the post-meiotic gamete phase of germline development and represents the end point of cell growth. Diploidy is advantageous for evolution, while haploidy is ideal for genetic analyses and is present in certain invertebrate species but is rare in vertebrate species. Haploid animal cell culture has long attracted considerable attempts, with haploid or near-haploid cell lines having been obtained in three species: frog, Drosophila, and human. Recently, the successful generation of medaka haploid embryonic stem (ES) cells capable of whole animal production has been accomplished. Hence, haploidy in a vertebrate is able to support stable cell culture and pluripotency, with haploid ES cells elegantly combining haploidy and pluripotency, and offering a unique yeast-like system for in vitro genetic analyses of molecular, cellular, and developmental events in various cell lineages. The aim of this chapter is to describe the strategy of haploid ES cell derivation and characterization, and to illustrate the perspectives of haploid ES cells for infertility treatment and genetic screens.


  • Medaka;
  • Ploidy;
  • Haploid screen;
  • Semicloning