Germ cells are specialized cells that undergo mitotic proliferation followed by meiosis and cellular differentiation to generate haploid gametes for sexual reproduction. We are investigating several aspects of germline biology using the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, and related worms. The C. elegans germ line is particularly amenable to these studies due to its unique structural organization, the molecular genetics of the system, and the high degree of conservation with genes and pathways in humans. We are currently investigating how checkpoint pathways function to ensure genomic integrity,  how meiosis is altered to accommodate hemizygous sex chromosomes, and how  meiosis differs in males and females. An understanding of these processes in the genetically tractable worm system may provide insight into why human meiosis has a high frequency of errors resulting in human disease such as Down, Turner and Klinefelter’s Syndrome.