The transplantation of germ cells is a powerful tool both for studying their development and for reproductive biotechnology. An intraperitoneal germ cell transplantation system was recently developed for use in several teleost species. Donor germ cells transplanted into the peritoneal cavity of hatchlings migrated toward and were incorporated into the recipient's genital ridges, where they underwent gametogenesis. Among male germ cells, only type A spermatogonia were capable of colonizing the recipient gonads, unlike those at more advanced stages. The enrichment of type A spermatogonia is therefore important to achieve efficient donor-cell incorporation and subsequent donor-derived gametogenesis. Here we established a simple and rapid system of isolation and enrichment for fish type A spermatogonia, using flow cytometry. Type A spermatogonia were found to have distinctive forward and side light scatter properties compared to that with other types of testicular cell. Based on these characteristics, we were able to isolate and enrich type A spermatogonia by using flow cytometry. After intraperitoneal transplantation, the enriched type A spermatogonia could be successfully incorporated into the recipient genital ridges. This flow cytometry approach using forward and side light scatter was also found to be applicable to other salmonid and sciaenid species, suggesting that it could be a powerful tool for isolating and enriching transplantable type A spermatogonia in a wide range of teleosts. We expect this method to contribute significantly to germ cell biology and biotechnology.
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Vol. 86 • No. 4