The germ line is the tissue that generates gametes. It is of tremendous practical and scholarly significance. It may be the ultimate source of stem cells for tissue replacement, and it impacts issues of fertility and reproduction. Therefore, germline biology is crucial for medicine, agriculture, and society. Recent major advances derive from both plant and animal studies including vertebrates and invertebrates. It is therefore critical that researchers from diverse arenas be brought together to share their discoveries. This proposal seeks support for the ninth, tenth and eleventh of a biennial series of meetings held at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory that is the premiere meeting for this field. The 2014 Germ Cells meeting will be held from October 7-11 at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. We expect to ~250-300 participants from around the world. There are no competing similar forums for all aspects of germ cell research. Broad topics for platform presentations include Germline Evolution, Sex Determination, Germline Stem Cells, Meiosis, Epigenetics, Environment and Hormones, and Post-Transcriptional Control. Each session will be co-chaired by two experts in the field who are also invited speakers. Most speakers will be selected from submitted abstracts, including many young scientists. Ample opportunity for informal interactions will also be ensured.
Animals and plants are composed of two types of cells: the 'mortal'somatic cells, which form the body of the organism, and the 'immortal'germ cells, which produce the next generation through the union of sperm and egg gametes. This international conference will cover the latest research in germ cell biology gamete formation, fertilization, and the transition from egg to embryo. A better understanding of these processes will advance our fundamental knowledge of germ cell biology, which will positively impact the study of infertility i human beings, developmental defects in children, as well as improve plant and animal breeding for agriculture and livestock management.