Chick gonad differentiation following excision of primordial germ cells

John R. McCarrey, Ursula K. Abbott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The differentiation of embryonic chick gonads lacking germ cells was compared to that of normal chick gonads to determine whether the somatic elements of sterile avian gonads will undergo normal sexual differentiation. Primordial germ cells were removed by surgical excision of anterior germinal crescent from early embryos, Hamburger and Hamilton stages 6-11. Surgically treated and control embryos were sacrificed at 6, 15, and 20 days of incubation, and their gonads were studied histologically. Analysis of differentiation was based on morphological criteria at the cellular, tissue, and organ levels. In both male and female embryos, the somatic elements of the gonads differentiated normally in the absence of germ cells. The significance of these results for understanding the controls of differentiation of both the somatic gonad and the germ cells in birds is discussed and correlated with similar results in mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-265
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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