Melissa E. Pepling, Joshua J.N. Burton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Gonadogenesis is a unique developmental process that generates one of two distinct phenotypes, the testis or ovary, from a common bipotential precursor. The urogenital ridge derived from intermediate mesoderm gives rise to the bipotential gonad or genital ridge. The molecular mechanisms controlling gonad formation have been investigated and several factors have been identified. The genetic sex established at fertilization determines whether the bipotential gonad develops as an ovary or testis. Ovary specific factors control gonadal differentiation towards the female fate while testes factors are specifically repressed. Female gametes, termed oocytes, are formed in the ovary during embryonic development from primordial germ cells. Thus, the somatic cells of the gonad along with the germ cells make up the differentiated ovary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Reproduction
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128151457
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Bipotential gonad
  • Genital ridge
  • Gonadogenesis
  • Ovary
  • Primordial germ cells
  • Sex determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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