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Dev Biol 2006 Dec 01;3001:385-405. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.07.041.
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Oogenesis: single cell development and differentiation.

Song JL , Wong JL , Wessel GM .

Oocytes express a unique set of genes that are essential for their growth, for meiotic recombination and division, for storage of nutrients, and for fertilization. We have utilized the newly sequenced genome of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus to identify genes that help the oocyte accomplish each of these tasks. This study emphasizes four classes of genes that are specialized for oocyte function: (1) Transcription factors: many of these factors are not significantly expressed in embryos, but are shared by other adult tissues, namely the ovary, testis, and gut. (2) Meiosis: A full set of meiotic genes is present in the sea urchin, including those involved in cohesion, in synaptonemal complex formation, and in meiotic recombination. (3) Yolk uptake and storage: Nutrient storage for use during early embryogenesis is essential to oocyte function in most animals; the sea urchin accomplishes this task by using the major yolk protein and a family of accessory proteins called YP30. Comparison of the YP30 family members across their conserved, tandem fasciclin domains with their intervening introns reveals an incongruence in the evolution of its major clades. (4) Fertilization: This set of genes includes many of the cell surface proteins involved in sperm interaction and in the physical block to polyspermy. The majority of these genes are active only in oocytes, and in many cases, their anatomy reflects the tandem repeating interaction domains essential for the function of these proteins. Together, the expression profile of these four gene classes highlights the transitions of the oocyte from a stem cell precursor, through stages of development, to the clearing and re-programming of gene expression necessary to transition from oocyte, to egg, to embryo.

PubMed ID: 17074315
Article link: Dev Biol

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115919910 LOC583082