Gender and sex determination matters are now relevantly examined with the help of a newly discovered gene that makes reproductive substances turn into either eggs or sperm. A team or researchers looked at a vertebrate germ cells in a small fish called medaka.
Males and females come from the same basic processes, but it was unknown by now the way in which the reproductive precursor cell in vertebrates becomes either the sperm in males of eggs in females. The entire process seems to be depending on a gene that is active in female animals.
A genetic switch determines precursor change, deciding whether the germ cells become sperm or eggs.
This particular gene causing the switch is called foxI3 and without the specific gene’s functionality, female medaka fish used to produce healthy, normal sperm in ovaries and autonomously produce their offspring. FoxI3 causes the shift from sperm to ovaries, and this happens in female cases.
The fish was observed while creating large amounts of their own sperm and small amounts of eggs in their reproductive tracks.
Scientists concluded that this gene, active in female’s medaka’s germ cells, prevents reproductive substances from becoming sperm cells. When the foxI3 gene was deactivated in female fish, the germ cells turned into sperm in the ovaries of the examined subjects.
The sperm produced with the deactivated gene functioned on a normal basis and successfully fertilized egg cells to produce natural and normal offspring.
With the help of this experiment, scientists now tend to believe that a similar genetic mechanism works in people as well.
It was completely unknown by now that vertebrates have a switch mechanism in germ cells to decide their own sperm or egg fate. Once the decision is made and the body reacts accordingly, the germ cells gain the ability to go all the way to the end.
This mechanism can shed light over the way sexual determination functions, outlining the relative freedom of choice found in females. That is where it all starts, from an activated gene that can go either way to create an offspring.
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