Germ cell differentiation in reverse-sexed reproductive organs and interspecies germ line chimeras provides insight into the mechanism of germ cell development and represents a useful tool for conservation of endangered birds. We investigated the migration and survival capacity of male chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) in female chicken embryos and in quail and Korean ring-necked pheasant embryos of both sexes. Interestingly, the PGCs were successfully reintroduced in all cases. Furthermore, the cells survived in the recipient gonads until hatching regardless of sex and species of the recipient. In the case of male recipient chickens, PGC-derived offspring were produced. However, the reverse-sexed female chickens, quails and pheasants of both sexes did not generate any male donor PGC-derived progeny. These results suggest that migration and survival circuits in chicken PGCs are conserved in both sexes and between avian species during embryonic development.
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