A global profile of germline gene expression in C. elegans

Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):605-16. doi: 10.1016/s1097-2765(00)00059-9.


We used DNA microarrays to profile gene expression patterns in the C. elegans germline and identified 1416 germline-enriched transcripts that define three groups. The sperm-enriched group contains an unusually large number of protein kinases and phosphatases. The oocyte-enriched group includes potentially new components of embryonic signaling pathways. The germline-intrinsic group, defined as genes expressed similarly in germlines making only sperm or only oocytes, contains a family of piwi-related genes that may be important for stem cell proliferation. Finally, examination of the chromosomal location of germline transcripts revealed that sperm-enriched and germline-intrinsic genes are nearly absent from the X chromosome, but oocyte-enriched genes are not.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Helminth Proteins / genetics
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA-Induced Silencing Complex
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*
  • X Chromosome


  • Argonaute Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • FEM-1 protein, C elegans
  • Helminth Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mom-5 protein, C elegans
  • PRG-1 protein, C elegans
  • PRG-2 protein, C elegans
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Induced Silencing Complex
  • Receptors, Notch
  • WRM-1 protein, C elegans
  • fem-3 protein, C elegans
  • mom-1 protein, C elegans
  • piwi protein, Drosophila