In order to determine the origin and migration of ukigori primordial germ cells (PGCs), we observed the aggregation of vasa mRNA by whole mount in situ hybridization. To observe PGC migration in the germ layers, we analyzed HE-stained paraffin sections. The germ line lineages were derived from the edge of the first, second and third cleavage furrows. During subsequent cleavages, vasa mRNA aggregations were respectively taken into four to eight cells in each embryo and vasa expressing cells proliferated from the sphere stage. At the bud to early somitogenesis period, PGCs aligned from head to tail bud regions on both sides of the embryonic body. During the late somitogenesis period, PGCs mainly aggregated just underneath the body axis. After gut formation, PGCs aligned along both sides of the gut at the 4th- to 8th- somite regions. Finally, PGCs reached the genital ridge via the inside of the lateral plate mesoderm and dorsal peritoneum. These results suggest that localized patterns of vasa transcripts and the migration routes of PGCs are different among fish (Teleost) species, perhaps depending on the amount of germinal cytoplasm derived maternally and the timing of endoderm differentiation.
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