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The trillions of cells in the human body develop as a result of the fusion of two extremely specialized cells: an oocyte and a sperm. This process is essential for the continuation of our species, as it ensures that parental genetic information is mixed and passed on from generation to generation. In addition to producing oocytes, the female reproductive system must provide the environment for the appropriate development of the fetus until birth. New genomic and computational tools offer unique opportunities to study the tight spatiotemporal regulatory mechanisms that are required for the cycle of human reproduction. This review explores how single-cell technologies have been used to build cellular atlases of the human reproductive system across the life span and how these maps have proven useful to better understand reproductive pathologies and dissect the heterogeneity of in vitro model systems. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, Volume 23 is October 2022. Please see for revised estimates.

Original publication




Journal article


Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet

Publication Date