Researchers in Japan have found, for the first time in vertebrates, a genetic switch that determines whether germ cells become sperm or eggs. The gene is named foxl3, and has been identified using a small fish called medaka (Oryzias latipes). In medaka without this gene's functionality, surprisingly, sperm are produced in the ovaries of females. The sperm that are produced function normally, and have been confirmed to produce normal offspring. These results will be announced in the journal Science through Science Express the online pre-print version on June 11th.
Dr. Toshiya Nishimura and Associate Professor Minoru Tanaka