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Call for papers - From germ cells to fertilization: understanding the development of gametes

Guest Editor:
Su-Ren Chen: College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, China

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 27 June 2024

The germ cell lineage is established very early on post-fertilization and is essential for the development of gametes. BMC Molecular and Cell Biology invites submissions investigating all aspects of fertilization, establishment and maintenance of the germ cell line and gametogenesis.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Su-Ren Chen: College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, China

Su-Ren Chen is a researcher at the College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University. His laboratory focuses on the genetic causes of male infertility (Human Reproduction Update, 2021). Their study of knockout/mutant mice and variants screening of infertile Chinese men suggest that CCIN (Cell Reports, 2022), CEP78 (Science Advances, 2022), ACTRT1 (Development, 2022), and CFAP70 (eBioMedicine, 2023) are causative genes of male infertility in both humans and mice. Prof Chen's  study expands the causative gene spectrum of male infertility and provides information for fertility guidance for patients carrying these mutations.

About the Collection

Germ cells are highly specialized cells with the unique ability of forming a new organism. This critical cell lineage is established very early on post-fertilization through the inhibition of somatic differentiation programs. This process needs to be tightly regulated as the germ cells migrate through somatic cells in the early embryo to reach the gonads, where gametogenesis occurs. Both the processes of spermatogenesis and oogenesis are carefully controlled, and germ cells undergo meiosis and significant changes in various organelles and the cytoplasm to become viable gametes. All steps from establishing the germ cell lineage to gametogenesis and eventual fertilization are tightly controlled, and errors can have serious implications for fertility, human diseases, and agriculture. 

In recognition of the importance of this topic, BMC Molecular and Cell Biology is calling for submissions on all aspects of gametogenesis, germs cells and fertilization. We welcome studies focused on these cell biology processes in humans, animals (including agricultural animals) and plants as well as model organisms used to understand gametes and gametogenesis. Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Specification, migration, and proliferation of primordial germ cells
  • Mechanisms of transcriptional repression of somatic differentiation in germ cells in early embryogenesis
  • Understanding the role of epigenetic modifications and chromatin-based repression in maintaining the germ cell lineage
  • The role of the stem-cell niche microenvironment in regulating gametogenesis
  • Meiosis of spermatocytes
  • Cell signaling pathways regulating gametogenesis
  • Changes in histone proteins and nuclear organization during spermatogenesis
  • Spermiogenesis (e.g., histone replacement by protamine, nuclear shaping, acrosome formation, and flagella development)
  • Understanding spermatozoa motility
  • Preservation of sperm samples for animal husbandry
  • Cytoplasmic compartmentalization in the oocyte
  • Molecular regulation of follicle development, meiosis arrest and recovery
  • In vitro fertilization techniques
  • Mechanisms underlying fertilization of sperm and egg
  • Understanding infertility, including azoospermia, oligospermia, asthenospermia, teratospermia, premature ovarian failure, polycystic ovary syndrome, and failure of fertilization

Image credit: Nishinaga Susumu / Science Photo Library

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "From germ cells to fertilization: understanding the development of gametes" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.