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Sisterly sacrifice among ovarian germ cells key to egg development

New work from Carnegie’s Allan Spradling and Lei Lei demonstrates that mammalian egg cells gain crucial cellular components at an early stage from their undifferentiated sister cells, called germ cells. This mechanism had previously only been documented in lower animals, and may be a key to understanding the egg’s unique properties. Their work is published via Science First Release.

Balbiani Body
This is a mouse egg cell after transfers from nurse cells are complete. Note the nucleus (DNA: blue), cytoplasm (germ cell marker: green) and the Balbiani body (“B-Body”; Golgi marker: orange).
Credit: Allan Spradling and Lei Lei