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Genetic and embryological experiments have established the Caenorhabditis elegans adult hermaphrodite gonad as a paradigm for studying the control of germline development and the role of soma-germline interactions. We describe ultrastructural features relating to essential germline events and the soma-germline interactions upon which they depend, as(More)
Here we show that emb-30 is required for metaphase-to-anaphase transitions during meiosis and mitosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Germline-specific emb-30 mutant alleles block the meiotic divisions. Mutant oocytes, fertilized by wild-type sperm, set up a meiotic spindle but do not progress to anaphase I. As a result, polar bodies are not produced, pronuclei(More)
Soma-germline interactions control fertility at many levels, including stem cell proliferation, meiosis and gametogenesis, yet the nature of these fundamental signaling mechanisms and their potential evolutionary conservation are incompletely understood. In C. elegans, a sperm-sensing mechanism regulates oocyte meiotic maturation and ovulation, tightly(More)
During sexual reproduction in most animals, oocytes arrest in meiotic prophase and resume meiosis (meiotic maturation) in response to sperm or somatic cell signals. Despite progress in delineating mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and CDK/cyclin activation pathways involved in meiotic maturation, it is less clear how these pathways are regulated at(More)
In Caenorhabditis elegans, specialized contractile myoepithelial cells of the somatic gonad, the gonadal sheath cells, are closely apposed to oocytes and are required for normal meiotic maturation and ovulation. Previously we found that mutations in the ceh-18 gene, which encodes a POU-class homeoprotein expressed in sheath cells, result in oocyte defects.(More)
Sexual reproduction depends upon meiosis for the generation of haploid gamete nuclei, which unite after fertilization to form the diploid zygote. The oocytes of most animal species arrest during meiotic prophase, and complete meiosis in response to intercellular signaling in a process called meiotic maturation. Oocyte meiotic maturation is defined by the(More)
Sexual reproduction of multicellular organisms depends critically on the coordinate development of the germ line and somatic gonad, a process known as gonadogenesis. Together these tissues ensure the formation of functional gametes and, in the female of many species, create a context for production and further development of the zygote. Since the future of(More)
Defining the forces that sculpt genome organization is fundamental for understanding the origin, persistence, and diversification of species. The genomic sequences of the nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae provide an excellent opportunity to explore the dynamics of chromosome evolution. Extensive chromosomal rearrangement has(More)
In many animals, oocytes enter meiosis early in their development but arrest in meiotic prophase I. Oocyte growth, which occurs during this arrest period, enables the acquisition of meiotic competence and the capacity to produce healthy progeny. Meiotic resumption, or meiotic maturation, involves the transition to metaphase I (M phase) and is regulated by(More)
BACKGROUND A conserved biological feature of sexual reproduction in animals is that oocytes arrest in meiotic prophase and resume meiosis in response to extraovarian signals. In C. elegans, sperm trigger meiotic resumption by means of the major sperm protein (MSP) signal. MSP promotes meiotic resumption by functioning as an ephrin-signaling antagonist and(More)