Number of Germ Cells in Known Male and Known Female Genotypes of Vertebrate Embryos (Oryzias latipes)

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Science  01 Jun 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4089, pp. 963-964
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4089.963


The number of primordial germ cells in embryos of known genotypic sex was the same in XY males and XX females until the gonad became recognizable as testis or ovary. It has been claimed that the heterogametic sex chromosome causes the gonad to differentiate as a testis in mammals and as an ovary in birds as a result of earlier and more mitoses. This claim was not supported in the present study where a sex difference in numbers of germ cells was first noted during differentiation of oocytes in the XX embryos.