A single-cell atlas and lineage analysis of the adult Drosophila ovary

Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 6;11(1):5628. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-19361-0.


The Drosophila ovary is a widely used model for germ cell and somatic tissue biology. Here we use single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to build a comprehensive cell atlas of the adult Drosophila ovary that contains transcriptional profiles for every major cell type in the ovary, including the germline stem cells and their niche cells, follicle stem cells, and previously undescribed subpopulations of escort cells. In addition, we identify Gal4 lines with specific expression patterns and perform lineage tracing of subpopulations of escort cells and follicle cells. We discover that a distinct subpopulation of escort cells is able to convert to follicle stem cells in response to starvation or upon genetic manipulation, including knockdown of escargot, or overactivation of mTor or Toll signalling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Female
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology
  • Ovarian Follicle / metabolism
  • Ovary / cytology*
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Single-Cell Analysis


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • esg protein, Drosophila