A light- and electron microscopic study of primordial germ cells in the zebra fish (Danio rerio)
In sexually reproducing organisms, primordial germ cells (PGCs) give rise to the cells of the germ line, the gametes. In many animals, PGCs are set apart from somatic cells early during embryogenesis. This study explores the origin of primordial germ cells (PGCs) of the zebra fish and examines their morphology during early development (1st day-15th day). PGCs were selectively stained by the alkaline phosphatase histochemical reaction and viewed by light and electron microscopy from the time they are first detectable in the yolk sac endoderm. PGCs occurred in the subendodermal space on the syncytial periblast; differing from the surrounding endodermal cells. Later the PGCs moved to between the blastoderm and yolk sac and transferred to the dorsal mesentery where they formed gonadal anlage with mesoderm cells. PGCs were easily distinguished from somatic cells by their morphology and low electron density of their nuclei. Under light microscopy, PCGs were rounded with a distinct cytoplasmic membrane.