Skip to main content
Local News

Germ Cells Move like Tiny Bulldozers

By September 20, 2022No Comments

Copied to clipboard
During fruit fly embryo formation, primordial germ cells — the stem cells that will later form eggs and sperm — must travel from the far end of the embryo to their final location in the gonads. Part of the primordial germ cell migration is passive; the cells are simply pushed into place by the movements of other cells. But at a certain point in development, the primordial germ cells must move on their own.

“A lot of the background in this field has been established by studying how cells move in culture, and there’s this model that they move by using their cytoskeleton to push out their membranes to crawl,” said Benjamin Lin, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Whitehead Institute Director Ruth Lehmann. “We weren’t so sure they were actually moving that way in vivo.”