In Tokyo, according to the Japanese finders for the first time a genetic switch has been identified in vertebrates that actuated if germ cells become eggs or sperms.
The gene identified is called foxl3, and has been mostly seen in asmall fish named Medaka (Oryzias latipes).
The Associate Professor Minoru Tanaka who has graduated from the National Institute for Basic Biology National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Japan Dr Toshiya Nishimura and associates concluded that the gene foxI3 works in the germ cells of females “to suppress differentiation into sperm.”
In females who lack functional foxl3 genes, the body appearance of the tiny fish is still completely feminine, Anyhow enormous numbers of sperm are multiplied in the ovaries, and scarce amount of eggs are created at similar times.
“In spite of the environment surrounding the germ cells being female, the fact that functional sperm has been made surprised me greatly,” Nishimura added.“That this sexual switch present in the germ cells is independent of the body’s sex is an entirely new finding,” Nishimura said. “While germ cells can become either sperm or eggs, nobody knew that in vertebrates the germ cells have a switch mechanism to decide their own sperm or egg fate,” Tanaka added“Our result indicates that once the decision is made the germ cells have the ability to go all the way to the end. I believe it is of very large significance that this mechanism has been found,” Tanaka claimed.
This research will soon be published in the journal