The cell cycles in C. elegans are tightly controlled but appear to use the same regulators found in other organisms. Four homologues of the dual-specificity phosphatase Cdc25 are present in the C. elegans genome. In our study, we have characterized a deletion mutant for one of these orthologues. We show that embryonic defects are absent in cdc-25.1 homozygous mutants, presumably because of maternally contributed CDC-25.1 product. These embryos hatch and develop into sterile adults. The adults do not appear to have any somatic defects. The sterility results from inadequate germline proliferation. Germline precursors divide slowly and produce abnormally sized daughter cells. Only three to four rounds of germ-cell division occur before they die during the L3 and L4 larval stages.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.