Gal4 in the Drosophila female germline

Mech Dev. 1998 Nov;78(1-2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(98)00157-9.


The modular Gal4 system has proven to be an extremely useful tool for conditional gene expression in Drosophila. One limitation has been the inability of the system to work in the female germline. A modified Gal4 system that works throughout oogenesis is presented here. To achieve germline expression, it was critical to change the basal promoter and 3'-UTR in the Gal4-responsive expression vector (generating UASp). Basal promoters and heterologous 3'-UTRs are often considered neutral, but as shown here, can endow qualitative tissue-specificity to a chimeric transcript. The modified Gal4 system was used to investigate the role of the Drosophila FGF homologue branchless, ligand for the FGF receptor breathless, in border cell migration. FGF signaling guides tracheal cell migration in the embryo. However, misexpression of branchless in the ovary had no effect on border cell migration. Thus border cells and tracheal cells appear to be guided differently.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Movement
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors*
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oogenesis / genetics*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / embryology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases*
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / physiology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Trachea / cytology
  • Trachea / embryology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transgenes
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Insect Proteins
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • bnl protein, Drosophila
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • BTL protein, Drosophila
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • beta-Galactosidase