Gonad formation during embryonic life provides an excellent model for studying the genetic control of
development. This project aims to enhance our understanding of gonad formation (testis vs ovary development) at
the genetic level, using unique approaches that exploit the chicken embryo as a model system. Innovative
methods will be used to study novel and known gonad-determining genes. The project is expected to make a
substantial contribution to our understanding of cell fate decisions, sex determination and gonad development. It
is also anticipated to have application to the poultry industry by illuminating those genes and pathways that can be
targeted to modulate sex determination in chickens, which is a goal of the industry.