The genetic control of mammalian gametogenesis is inadequately characterized because of a lack of mutations causing infertility. To further the discovery of genes required for mammalian gametogenesis, phenotype-driven screens were performed in mice using random chemical mutagenesis of whole animals and embryonic stem cells. Eleven initial mutations are reported here that affect proliferation of germ cells, meiosis, spermiogenesis, and spermiation. Nine of the mutations have been mapped genetically. These preliminary studies provide baselines for estimating the number of genes required for gametogenesis and offer guidance in conducting new genetic screens that will accelerate and optimize mutant discovery. This report demonstrates the efficacy and expediency of mutagenesis to identify new genes required for mammalian gamete development.
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