Promoting global food security by understanding germ cells

How do primordial germ cells form in large mammals?

Photo by Matthieu Pétiard on Unsplash

Lead researcher: Professor Ramiro Albeiro

Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors of germ cells. They emerge in the posterior region of early embryos in large mammals. Although the period when PGCs form is known, the features of the cells that respond to inducing signals is unknown. This project tests the hypothesis that cells with a unique molecular signature localized in the posterior end of the embryo can respond to specific signals to form germ cell precursors.

These comprehensive investigations will provide detailed molecular understanding of the formation of the PGCs in large mammals for the first time. This knowledge will be used for the development of in vitro gametes in the laboratory to improve genetic selection through use of assisted reproduction. Improvements in livestock productivity and global food security will flow from this research.

Funded by the BBSRC.

World-class research at the University of Nottingham

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