Whole transcriptome screening for novel genes involved in meiosis and fertility in Drosophila melanogaster

Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 13;14(1):3602. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-53346-z.


Reproductive success requires the development of viable oocytes and the accurate segregation of chromosomes during meiosis. Failure to segregate chromosomes properly can lead to infertility, miscarriages, or developmental disorders. A variety of factors contribute to accurate chromosome segregation and oocyte development, such as spindle assembly and sister chromatid cohesion. However, many proteins required for meiosis remain unknown. In this study, we aimed to develop a screening pipeline for identifying novel meiotic and fertility genes using the genome of Drosophila melanogaster. To accomplish this goal, genes upregulated within meiotically active tissues were identified. More than 240 genes with no known function were silenced using RNA interference (RNAi) and the effects on meiosis and fertility were assessed. We identified 94 genes that when silenced caused infertility and/or high levels of chromosomal nondisjunction. The vast majority of these genes have human and mouse homologs that are also poorly studied. Through this screening process, we identified novel genes that are crucial for meiosis and oocyte development but have not been extensively studied in human or model organisms. Understanding the function of these genes will be an important step towards the understanding of their biological significance during reproduction.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / metabolism
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins* / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Fertility / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infertility* / metabolism
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Mice
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Transcriptome


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone