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Germ plasm-related structures in marine medaka gametogenesis; novel sites of Vasa localization and the unique mechanism of germ plasm granule arising

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 October 2019

Arkadiy A. Reunov*
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia St. Francis Xavier University, Department of Biology, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, Canada
Doris W. T. Au
State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Cher Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Yana N. Alexandrova
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia
Michael W. L. Chiang
State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Cher Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Miles T. Wan
State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Cher Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Konstantin V. Yakovlev
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia
Yulia A. Reunova
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia
Alina V. Komkova
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia
Napo K. M. Cheung
State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Cher Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Drew R. Peterson
State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution, Department of Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Cher Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Andrey V. Adrianov
National Scientific Centre of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690041; Russia Far Eastern Federal University, School of Natural Sciences, 10 Ajax Bay, Russky Island, Vladivostok 690950, Russia
Address for correspondence: Arkadiy Reunov. St. Francis Xavier University, Department of Biology, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, Canada. E-mail:


Germ plasm, a cytoplasmic factor of germline cell differentiation, is suggested to be a perspective tool for in vitro meiotic differentiation. To discriminate between the: (1) germ plasm-related structures (GPRS) involved in meiosis triggering; and (2) GPRS involved in the germ plasm storage phase, we investigated gametogenesis in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma. The GPRS of the mitosis-to-meiosis period are similar in males and females. In both sexes, five events typically occur: (1) turning of the primary Vasa-positive germ plasm granules into the Vasa-positive intermitochondrial cement (IMC); (2) aggregation of some mitochondria by IMC followed by arising of mitochondrial clusters; (3) intramitochondrial localization of IMC-originated Vasa; followed by (4) mitochondrial cluster degradation; and (5) intranuclear localization of Vasa followed by this protein entering the nuclei (gonial cells) and synaptonemal complexes (zygotene–pachytene meiotic cells). In post-zygotene/pachytene gametogenesis, the GPRS are sex specific; the Vasa-positive chromatoid bodies are found during spermatogenesis, but oogenesis is characterized by secondary arising of Vasa-positive germ plasm granules followed by secondary formation and degradation of mitochondrial clusters. A complex type of germ plasm generation, ‘the follicle cell assigned germ plasm formation’, was found in late oogenesis. The mechanisms discovered are recommended to be taken into account for possible reconstruction of those under in vitro conditions.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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