Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are embryonic progenitors for the gametes. In the gastrulating mouse embryo, a small group of cells begin expressing a unique set of genes and so commit to the germline. Over the next 3-5 days, these PGCs migrate anteriorly and increase rapidly in number via mitotic division before colonizing the newly formed gonads. PGCs then express a different set of unique genes, their inherited epigenetic imprint is erased and an individual methylation imprint is established, and for female PGCs, the silent X chromosome is reactivated. At this point, germ cells (GCs) commit to either a female or male sexual lineage, denoted by meiosis entry and mitotic arrest, respectively. This developmental program is determined by cues emanating from the somatic environment.