Thursday, September 23, 2021

Lack of maternal gene expression leads to sterility in Golden Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus)


Recent findings show that the lack of maternal expression of the Piwi RNA genome defense system in Golden Hamsters will lead to sterility in the male offspring. The data shows a sudden drop in male fertility as the gene is not expressed. Simply put, the male hamsters that do not develop the Piwi RNA system for germ development have lowered sperm count, significantly smaller testes, and will most likely not reproduce as well as males with parents who expressed these genes. This is concurrent with findings in both plants and animals, which share these same Piwi genes, and as such will have little luck reproducing.

While I am personally interested in hamsters more directly, this is an interesting concept to be applied to other organisms, such as plants. Researchers often use mice for genetic analysis, as well as hamsters due to their analogous physical features to humans (as well as being mammals). I would be particularly interested in what effects the Piwi gene has in plants, as the method of reproduction in many plants is by flowers. (Article link if link is broken) (Hamsters defined if link is broken)

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