Fate Decisions of Chicken Primordial Germ Cells (PGCs): Development, Integrity, Sex Determination, and Self-Renewal Mechanisms

Genes (Basel). 2023 Feb 28;14(3):612. doi: 10.3390/genes14030612.


Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are precursor cells of sperm and eggs. The fate decisions of chicken PGCs in terms of their development, integrity, and sex determination have unique features, thereby providing insights into evolutionary developmental biology. Additionally, fate decisions in the context of a self-renewal mechanism have been applied to establish culture protocols for chicken PGCs, enabling the production of genome-edited chickens and the conservation of genetic resources. Thus, studies on the fate decisions of chicken PGCs have significantly contributed to both academic and industrial development. Furthermore, studies on fate decisions have rapidly advanced owing to the recent development of essential research technologies, such as genome editing and RNA sequencing. Here, we reviewed the status of fate decisions of chicken PGCs and provided insight into other important research issues that require attention.

Keywords: avian species; chicken; development; fate decision; genome editing; integrity; primordial germ cells; self-renewal; sex determination.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens* / genetics
  • Gene Editing / methods
  • Germ Cells
  • Male
  • Semen*
  • Spermatozoa

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Kieikai Research Foundation (FY2022) to Dr. Kennosuke Ichikawa.