Sperm and eggs provide a link between generations.  During the formation of mature sperm and eggs, germ cells make a key decision to leave mitosis and enter meiosis.  This is one of the unique biological characteristics of germ cells that is reviewed in a new book from CSHL Press, Germ Cells.

Edited by Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Margaret Fuller, and Robert Braun, Germ Cells includes 12 chapters written by experts in the field. The contributors explore the undifferentiated state of germline stem cells, the triggers for meiotic entry, and the transcriptional and posttranscriptional controls during spermatogenesis and oogenesis that lead to the formation of mature gametes. They discuss the expression of sex-linked genes, and the establishment of genomic imprinting in the germline.  Gamete recognition proteins, egg activation, and genetic reprogramming following nuclear transfer are also covered.

“The past two decades have witnessed the accumulation of a spectacular amount of knowledge,” write the editors. “We wanted to incorporate into a single volume not only the remarkable advances that have been made but also the emerging concepts and hypotheses that currently drive thinking and experimentation in this field.”

Germ Cells is an indispensable reference for cell, molecular, and developmental biologists and anyone wishing to understand the implications of germ cell biology for reproductive technologies.  For more information on the book, click here.