Members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) superfamily are critical regulators of germ cell development that act as extracellular ligands of the signal transduction pathways regulating proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and other aspects of cell behavior. Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) is a member of the TGFβ superfamily that plays a critical role in ovarian follicular development and ovulation rate in females; however, its role in the testis has not been well elucidated.
Complex vertebral malformation (CVM) is a recently described monogenic autosomal recessive hereditary defect of Holstein dairy cattle that causes premature birth, aborted fetuses and stillborn calves. Guanine is substituted by thymine (G>T) in the solute carrier family 35 member A3 gene (SLC35A3). A valine is changed to a phenylalanine at position 180 of uridine 5’-diphosphate-N-acetyl-glucosamine transporter protein. CVM is expected to occur in many countries due to the widespread use of sire semen.