Primordial germ cell isolation from xenopus laevis embryos

Amanda M. Butler, Tristan Aguero, Karen M. Newman, Mary Lou King

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Primordial germ cells (PGCs) are the precursors to the gametes and have the unique ability to retain full developmental potential. However, the mechanism(s) and gene-network(s) necessary for their proper specification and development are poorly understood. This is due, in part, to the challenges that must be overcome in order to identify and isolate PGCs during critical stages of development. Two distinct mechanisms have been characterized to specify the germ cell lineage in vertebrates: induction and inheritance. Regardless of mechanism, there are common developmental features shared among all vertebrates in forming the germ cell lineage. Xenopus offers several advantages for understanding the molecular mechanisms necessary to establish the germ line. Here, we provide detailed methods for isolating live PGCs at different time points: 1) just after they have segregated from the endodermal lineage, and 2) while they are migrating towards the presumptive gonad. Isolation of PGCs at these critical developmental stages will allow for the investigation of the mechanism(s) and gene-network(s) necessary for their proper specification and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Germ line
  • Germ plasm
  • Maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT)
  • Migration
  • Primordial germ cell (PGC)
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Primordial germ cell isolation from xenopus laevis embryos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this