Drosophila ovary morphogenesis: analysis of terminal filament formation and identification of a gene required for this process

Dev Biol. 1995 Jul;170(1):127-35. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1995.1201.


The adult ovary of Drosophila is composed of approximately 20 parallel repetitive structures called ovarioles. At the anterior tip of each ovariole is a stack of 8-9 disc-shaped cells, called the terminal filament. Ovariole morphogenesis starts with the formation of the terminal filaments. Using two enhancer trap markers for terminal filament cells, we show that terminal filaments form in a progressive manner from medial to lateral across the ovary and that the number of terminal filament cells in a developing stack increases gradually. This process occurs during the second half of the third larval instar. One of these enhancer trap mutations, which is in the bric à brac gene, demonstrates that this gene is necessary for terminal filament formation and that a terminal filament cell cluster is required for ovariole morphogenesis to take place.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Heterozygote
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Morphogenesis / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Ovary / growth & development*
  • Ovary / ultrastructure
  • Pupa
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • beta-Galactosidase / biosynthesis
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Bric-a-brac protein 1, Drosophila
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta-Galactosidase