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Title: Identification and characterization of primordial germ cells in a vocal learning Neoaves species, the zebra finch
Authors: Jung, Kyung Min
Kim, Young Min
Keyte, Anna L.
Biegler, Matthew T.
Rengaraj, Deivendran
Lee, Hong Jo
Mello, Claudio V.
Velho, Tarciso A. F.
Fedrigo, Olivier
Haase, Bettina
Jarvis, Erich D.
Han, Jae Yong
Keywords: DAZL;embryo development;germ cells;songbird;transgenesis
Issue Date: 11-Oct-2019
Citation: JUNG, K. M.; KIM, Y. M.; KEYTE, A. L.; BIEGLER, M. T.; RENGARAJ, D.; LEE, H. J.; MELLO, C. V.; VELHO, T. FEDRIGO, O.; HAASE, B.; JARVIS, E. D.; HAN, J. Y. Identification and characterization of primordial germ cells in a vocal learning Neoaves species, the zebra finch. FASEB J., 2019. Doi: 10.1096/fj.201900760RR
Portuguese Abstract: The zebra finch has been used as a valuable vocal learning animal model for human spoken language. It is representative of vocal learning songbirds specifically, which comprise half of all bird species, and of Neoaves broadly, which comprise 95% of all bird species. Although transgenesis in the zebra finch has been accomplished, it is with a very low efficiency of germ-line transmission and far from the efficiency with a more genetically tractable but vocal nonlearning species, the chicken (a Galloanseriformes). To improve germ-line transmission in the zebra finch, we identified and characterized its primordial germ cells (PGCs) and compared them with chicken. We found striking differences between the 2 species, including that zebra finch PGCs were more numerous, more widely distributed in early embryos before colonization into the gonads, had slower timing of colonization, and had a different developmental gene-expression program. We improved conditions for isolating and culturing zebra finch PGCs in vitro and were able to transfect them with gene-expression vectors and incorporate them into the gonads of host embryos. Our findings demonstrate important differences in the PGCs of the zebra finch and advance the first stage of creating PGC-mediated germ-line transgenics of a vocal learning species.
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