Developmental Genetics of the Zona Pellucida

  • Jurrien Dean
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in the Serono Symposia, USA Series book series (SERONOSYMP)


The development of the mammalian oocyte and ovary serves as a focus for molecular genetic studies on cell lineage, tissue-specific gene expression, and organogenesis. The female germ cell populates the primitive gonad during the second trimester of mouse development, and their interactions with the support cells result in the formation of the ovary. After birth and during the reproductive life of the female, cohorts of oocytes grow, undergo meiotic maturation, and, following ovulation, are available for fertilization in the oviduct. The expression of the zona pellucida genes serves as a marker of germ cell growth and represents the set of oocyte-specific genes unique to mammals. These zona genes encode proteins that are secreted to form an extracellular matrix that surrounds the eggs and mediates the species-specific events of fertilization.


Zona Pellucida Acrosome Reaction Zona Gene Developmental Genetic Meiotic Maturation 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Jurrien Dean

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