Histone storage and deposition in the early Drosophila embryo

Chromosoma. 2015 Jun;124(2):163-75. doi: 10.1007/s00412-014-0504-7. Epub 2015 Jan 8.


Drosophila development initiates with the formation of a diploid zygote followed by the rapid division of embryonic nuclei. This syncytial phase of development occurs almost entirely under maternal control and ends when the blastoderm embryo cellularizes and activates its zygotic genome. The biosynthesis and storage of histones in quantity sufficient for chromatin assembly of several thousands of genome copies represent a unique challenge for the developing embryo. In this article, we have reviewed our current understanding of the mechanisms involved in the production, storage, and deposition of histones in the fertilized egg and during the exponential amplification of cleavage nuclei.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastoderm / embryology
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Centromere / genetics
  • Centromere / metabolism
  • Chromatin Assembly and Disassembly / genetics
  • DNA Replication
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genomics
  • Histones / biosynthesis
  • Histones / genetics*
  • Male
  • Nucleosomes / genetics
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism
  • Zygote / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Histones
  • Nucleosomes