Differentiation of female chicken primordial germ cells into spermatozoa in male gonads
Article first published online: 27 OCT 2003
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 267–271, June 1997
How to Cite
Tagami, T., Matsubara, Y., Hanada, H. and Naito, M. (1997), Differentiation of female chicken primordial germ cells into spermatozoa in male gonads. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 39: 267–271. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-169X.1997.t01-2-00002.x
- Issue published online: 27 OCT 2003
- Article first published online: 27 OCT 2003
- Received 30 September 1996; revision 10 December 1996; accepted 10 December 1996.
- primordial germ cells;
- sexual differentiation
In avian species, the developmental fate of different-sex germ cells in the gonads is unclear. The present study attempted to confirm whether genetically female germ cells can differentiate into spermatozoa in male gonads using male germline chimeric chickens produced by the transfer of primordial germ cells (PGC), and employing molecular biological methods. As a result of Southern hybridization, specific sequences of the W chromosome (the female specific sex chromosome in birds) were detected in the genomic DNA extracted from one out of four male germline chimeric chickens. When two-color in situ hybridization was conducted on the spermatozoa of this germline chimera, 0.33% (average) of the nuclei of each semen sample showed the fluorescent signal indicating the presence of the W chromosome. The present study shows that female PGC can differentiate into spermatozoa in male gonads in the chicken. However, the ratio of produced W chromosome-bearing (W-bearing) spermatozoa fell substantially below expectations. It is therefore concluded that most of the W-bearing PGC could not differentiate into spermatozoa because of restricted spermatogenesis.