SCIENTISTS have identified a gene which could help solve the problem of infertility in humans.
The team conducted a study with fruit flies, during which they found that when the gene SRPK is missing, chromosomes do not "huddle" together.
They believe the huddling process is necessary to ensure the egg's healthy development and fertilisation.
Chromosomes are thread-like structures which contain a person's DNA, and when they divide it can lead to sterility and low fertility, according to the study which is published in the Journal of Cell Science.
By identifying the genes involved, the experts now hope to gain an understanding of what goes on in the creation of fertile reproductive cells.
Professor Hiroyuki Ohkura, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences, said: "By studying the phenomenon of chromosome clustering, shared by fruit flies and humans and identifying genes like SRPK we are gaining insights into fertility health."