In order to identify novel genes involved in early meiosis and early ovarian development in the mouse, we used microarray technology to compare transcriptional activity in ovaries without meiotic germ cells at embryonic age 11.5 (E11.5) and E13.5 ovaries with meiosis. Overall, 182 genes were differentially expressed; 134 were known genes and 48 were functionally uncharacterized. A comparison of our data with the literature associated, for the first time, at least eight of the known genes with female meiosis/germ cell differentiation (Aldh1a1, C2pa, Tex12, Stk31, Lig3, Id4, Recql, Piwil2). These genes had previously only been described in spermatogenesis. The microarray also detected an abundance of vesicle-related genes of which four were upregulated (Syngr2, Stxbp1, Ric-8, SytIX) and one (Myo1c) was downregulated in E13.5 ovaries. Detailed analysis showed that the temporal expression of SytIX also coincided with the first meiotic wave in the pubertal testis. This is the first time that SytIX has been reported in non-neuronal tissue. Finally, we examined the expression of one of the uncharacterized genes and found it to be gonad-specific in adulthood. We named this novel transcript "Gonad-expressed transcript 1" (Get-1). In situ hybridization showed that Get-1 was expressed in meiotic germ cells in both fetal ovaries and mature testis. Get-1 is therefore a novel gene in both male and female meiosis.