Development of the Gonads Derived from Hetero-Sexually Transferred Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs) between Embryos in the Chicken

  • Furuta, H. (Animal Resource Science Section, Division of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Science Graduate School of Kyushu University) ;
  • Yamaguchi, H. (Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Nagasaki University) ;
  • Fujihara, N. (Animal Resource Science Section, Division of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Science Graduate School of Kyushu University)
  • Received : 1999.01.25
  • Accepted : 1999.04.13
  • Published : 1999.12.01


Primordial germ cells (PGCs) of White Leghorn chicken embryos as a donor were transferred to Rhode Island Red chicken embryos as a recipient. At 48-50 h (stage 13-15) of incubation of fertilized eggs, donor PGCs, which were taken out from blood vessels of donor embryos, were injected into blood vessels of recipient embryos. Sex of the treated embryos was determined after the transfer of PGCs using remaining blood samples. In the present experiments, survival rate of the treated embryos was 33.3% for homo-sexual and 35.4% for hetero-sexual transfers of PGCs, respectively, when determined at 17 days of incubation. In this study, most of the treated embryos could not survive more than 18 days of incubation, though the reason for that was not clarified in the present work. The gonalds removed from embryos that died after 18 days of incubation and the organs from newly hatched chicks were examined for morphological and histological features. The gonads removed from the embryos with homo-sexual transfer of PGCs showed normal development in appearance. On the contrary, some (35.3%) of the embryos with hetero-sexual transfer of PGCs possessed abnormal gonads similar to ovotestis by histological observation. In cases where the gonads developed to be normal organs (64.7%) the sex of embryos was the same as recipient ones. The present results suggest that hetero-sexual transfer of the PGCs may bring about the possibility of development of the embryos bearing sexually different gametes, spermatogonia or oogonia.


Chicken;Embryos;Gonads;Primordial Germ Cells;Transfer

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