The Origin of Primordial Germ Cells Becoming Caviar — How do potential caviar cells emerge from fertilized eggs in a sturgeon?
Research Press Release | March 04, 2014
* The primordial germ cells (PGCs) of a sturgeon, which become eggs or sperm, have been found to have the same mechanism as that of a frog, and they emerge during embryonic development.
* When transplanted into a goldfish embryo, which develops differently from the embryo of a sturgeon, the PGCs migrated to its gonads.
* These findings show that the development and migration of the cells to become eggs or sperm have similarities among species.
The over-fishing of caviar, one of the world’s three great delicacies, has caused a significant decrease in their number, resulting in the need for the conservation of wild sturgeon. Sturgeon are regarded as living fossils, and are important in order to solve the mysteries of evolution. Today, technology has been developed to allow a sturgeon’s gametes (eggs or sperm) to be formed in other species so as to revive these endangered fish.
To achieve this goal, we must first learn how the primordial germ cells become gametes. A sturgeon is categorized as a fish; however, the process of its embryonic development is very similar to that of frogs. Observation of the colored part of the embryo (a fertilized egg) show that sturgeon PGCs emerged in the same mechanism as those of a frog. What’s more, when these PGCs were transplanted into a goldfish embryo, which develop a different cleavage pattern from the embryo of a sturgeon, they were found to have the ability to migrate to the goldfish’s gonads. These results indicate that the development and migration of cells that are potential eggs or sperm have similarities among species.
Etsuro Yamaha, Professor, Nanae Fresh-Water Laboratory, Aquatic Research Station (Jpn link); Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere
|Publications||PLoS One (2014.2.5)|