Control of oocyte meiotic maturation and fertilization.

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109 Scopus citations


Sexual reproduction depends upon meiosis for the generation of haploid gamete nuclei, which unite after fertilization to form the diploid zygote. The oocytes of most animal species arrest during meiotic prophase, and complete meiosis in response to intercellular signaling in a process called meiotic maturation. Oocyte meiotic maturation is defined by the transition between diakinesis and metaphase of meiosis I and is accompanied by nuclear envelope breakdown, rearrangement of the cortical cytoskeleton, and meiotic spindle assembly. Thus, the meiotic maturation process is essential for meiosis and prepares the oocyte for fertilization. In C. elegans, the processes of meiotic maturation, ovulation, and fertilization are temporally coupled: sperm utilize the major sperm protein as a hormone to trigger oocyte meiotic maturation, and in turn, the maturing oocyte signals its own ovulation thereby facilitating fertilization. This chapter highlights recent advances in understanding meiotic maturation signaling and gametic interactions required for fertilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalWormBook : the online review of C. elegans biology
StatePublished - 2005


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