To develop banana prawn (Fenneropenaeus merguiensis) aquaculture, the mechanism of ovarian maturation is under investigation. In a previous study, we reported the RpL10A protein as an ovarian maturation stimulator. To further investigate the function of RpL10A, we turned to the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to take advantage of the genetic tools available. Here, we elucidate the expression and function of RpL10A in the D. melanogaster ovary. RpL10A is expressed in the cytoplasm of both nurse and follicle cells throughout oogenesis. While shrimp have one RpL10A gene, D. melanogaster has two genes, RpL10Aa and RpL10Ab. RpL10Ab displays more similarity with shrimp RpL10A and was further investigated. RpL10Ab homozygous mutants are lethal and germline clone analysis showed that RpL10Ab is an essential gene in oogenesis. Moreover, RpL10Ab(-) germline clones resulted in premature death of the follicle cells. This phenotype is reminiscent of some insulin pathway mutants, suggesting that RpL10Ab may be involved in the insulin signaling pathway. In addition, RpL10Ab(-) follicle cells showed abnormal nuclei and membranes. Shrimp RpL10A rescued RpL10Ab homozygous mutants, revealing their functional conservation. Surprisingly, we found cell death in multiple tissues when RpL10A was over-expressed, suggesting that proper RpL10A levels are important. This research reveals novel findings about the role of RpL10A during oogenesis and may, in the future, lead to new approaches to stimulate ovarian development in shrimp.
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