Applying iPSCs for Preserving Endangered Species and Elucidating the Evolution of Mammalian Sex Determination

Bioessays 40 (6):1700152 (2018)

Abstract
The endangered species Tokudaia osimensis has the unique chromosome constitution of 2n = 25, with an XO/XO sex chromosome configuration (2n = 25; XO). There is urgency to preserve this species and to elucidate the regulator(s) that can discriminate the males and females arising from the indistinguishable sex chromosome constitution. However, it is not realistic to examine this rare animal species by sacrificing individuals. Recently, true naïve induced pluripotent stem cells were successfully generated from a female T. osimensis, and the sexual plasticity of its germ cells was elucidated. This achievement constitutes the basis of an attractive research area, including embryonic fate determination, sex determination, and factor(s) that can replace the Y chromosome. In this essay, concrete strategies to conserve rare animal species and to reveal their specific characteristics using other compatible and abundant animals are proposed.
Keywords endangered species  germ cells  induced pluripotent stem cells  interspecific chimera  sex determination
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DOI 10.1002/bies.201700152
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