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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 168614, 9 pages
Research Article

Microanatomical Study of Embryonic Gonadal Development in Japanese Quail (Coturnix japonica)

1Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
2Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 2 July 2014; Accepted 21 August 2014; Published 3 September 2014

Academic Editor: Feng C. Zhou

Copyright © 2014 Sittipon Intarapat and Orawan Satayalai. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Gonadal development of quail embryos was examined histologically using histological and histochemical methods. In the present study, quail embryos were studied at various stages of incubation period based on phases of gonadogenesis. Germ cell migration was observed on day 3-4 but gonadal differentiation and gonadal function were observed on day 6–8 and day 11–14, respectively. During germ cell migration, quail primordial germ cells (qPGCs) were successfully detected in both left and right genital ridges as well as the dorsal mesentery by lectin histochemistry. Unexpectedly, qPGCs-like cells were found next to the neural tube by Mallory-AZAN stain. During gonadal differentiation, embryonic sex can be distinguished histologically since day 8 of incubation. Embryonic testis exhibited a thin cortex, whereas embryonic ovary exhibited a thick cortex. Testicular cord formation was found in the medulla of embryonic testes while the lacunae and fat-laden cells were found in the medulla of embryonic ovary during gonadal function. This is the first report on a comparison of phases of gonadogenesis and histochemical study of quail embryonic gonads in both sexes.