Localization of mammalian spermatogonial stem cells and their niche using spatial genomics
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) are required for sperm production and male fertility. but we do not yet understand how activity of these cells is regulated or even precisely where they reside in the seminiferous tubules of the testis. Our previous single-cell RNA-seq results have defined transcriptome signatures of spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) that discriminate these cells from all other spermatogenic cell types in the adult mammalian testis. We hypothesize that spatial genomic detection of this SSC signature in tissue sections will reveal the location of mammalian SSCs. and by extension the SSC niche. which will allow us to determine mechanisms for regulatory modes of SSCs. This GREAT project will provide preliminary feasibility and biological data to support an NIH R01 proposal to study SSCs and their niche.