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Developmental Biology: Sperm Protein Makes Its Mark Upon the Worm Embryo

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Science  05 Jan 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5245, pp. 33
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5245.33


Females seem stuck with the work of childrearing, even in the earliest stages of embryogenesis. No biochemical factors guiding this early development have been traced to the father—until now. Scientists report that SPE-11, a novel protein produced by the sperm of the worm C. elegans, may play a vital role in the first few minutes after an egg is fertilized. It may promote crucial intermingling of genetic material from both sperm and egg.