A single-cell atlas of the developing Drosophila ovary identifies follicle stem cell progenitors

Genes Dev. 2020 Feb 1;34(3-4):239-249. doi: 10.1101/gad.330464.119. Epub 2020 Jan 9.


Addressing the complexity of organogenesis at a system-wide level requires a complete understanding of adult cell types, their origin, and precursor relationships. The Drosophila ovary has been a model to study how coordinated stem cell units, germline, and somatic follicle stem cells maintain and renew an organ. However, lack of cell type-specific tools have limited our ability to study the origin of individual cell types and stem cell units. Here, we used a single-cell RNA sequencing approach to uncover all known cell types of the developing ovary, reveal transcriptional signatures, and identify cell type-specific markers for lineage tracing. Our study identifies a novel cell type corresponding to the elusive follicle stem cell precursors and predicts subtypes of known cell types. Altogether, we reveal a previously unanticipated complexity of the developing ovary and provide a comprehensive resource for the systematic analysis of ovary morphogenesis.

Keywords: Drosophila; cluster analysis; gene expression signature; lineage analysis; ovary development; single-cell RNA sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Female
  • Models, Animal
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Single-Cell Analysis
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Transcription, Genetic