Germline stem cell division and egg chamber development in transplanted Drosophila germaria

Dev Biol. 1993 Sep;159(1):140-52. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1993.1228.


Germline and somatic stem cells reside within the anterior region (or "germarium") of each ovariole in the Drosophila ovary. When individual germaria were dissected free of developing eggs and sheath tissue and transplanted into the abdominal cavity of a host fly, they regenerated ovariole-like structures and continuously supported the entire process of oogenesis, indicating that the stem cells remained functional. This system allowed us to measure the duration of several stages in oogenesis and to analyze the role of specific germarial cells in providing stem cell function. Laser ablation of presumptive germline stem cells near the apical tip prior to transplantation blocked the production of new germline cysts, but allowed previously initiated cysts to complete development. This confirmed the location of germline stem cells and showed that subsequent development of preexisting cysts did not require continued cyst production. Ablation of a distinct group of somatic cells lying close to the germline stem cells ("the terminal filament") increased the rate of oogenesis by approximately 40%, suggesting that the terminal filament may negatively regulate stem cell division.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Drosophila
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Oogenesis* / genetics
  • Ovary / cytology*
  • Ovary / growth & development
  • Ovary / transplantation
  • Ovum / growth & development*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*