4 years ago

Germ cell cysts and simultaneous sperm and oocyte production in a hermaphroditic nematode

Germ cell cysts and simultaneous sperm and oocyte production in a hermaphroditic nematode
Studies of gamete development in the self-fertile hermaphrodites of Caenorhabditis elegans have significantly contributed to our understanding of fundamental developmental mechanisms. However, evolutionary transitions from outcrossing males and females to self-fertile hermaphrodites have convergently evolved within multiple nematode sub-lineages, and whether the C. elegans pattern of self-fertile hermaphroditism and gamete development is representative remains largely unexplored. Here we describe a pattern of sperm production in the trioecious (male/female/hermaphrodite) nematode Rhabditis sp. SB347 that differs from C. elegans in two striking ways. First, while C. elegans hermaphrodites make a one-time switch from sperm to oocyte production, R. sp. SB347 hermaphrodites continuously produce both sperm and oocytes. Secondly, while C. elegans germ cell proliferation is limited to germline stem cells (GSCs), sperm production in R. sp. SB347 includes an additional population of mitotically dividing cells that are a developmental intermediate between GSCs and fully differentiated spermatocytes. These cells are present in males and hermaphrodites but not females, and exhibit key characteristics of spermatogonia — the mitotic progenitors of spermatocytes in flies and vertebrates. Specifically, they exist outside the stem cell niche, increase germ cell numbers by transit-amplifying divisions, and synchronously proliferate within germ cell cysts. We also discovered spermatogonia in other trioecious Rhabditis species, but not in the male/female species Rhabditis axei or the more distant hermaphroditic Oscheius tipulae. The discovery of simultaneous hermaphroditism and spermatogonia in a lab-cultivatable nematode suggests R. sp. SB347 as a richly informative species for comparative studies of gametogenesis.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0012160617302713

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.