Establishment of stem cell identity in the Drosophila germline

Krishna Moorthi Bhat, Paul Schedl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In the adult Drosophila ovary the continuous production of eggs depends upon a small group of stem cells located at the anterior tip of the germarium. These stem cells divide asymmetrically to self renew and to generate a cystoblast, which in females is committed to the oocyte differentiation pathway. While much is known about the development of poststem cell cystoblasts, little is known about when stem cells are formed or how their identity is initially established. To investigate these questions we have used the P-M hybrid dysgenesis syndrome as a tool for ablating the 'pre-stem cell' progenitors of the stem cells. Our experiments indicate that the pre-stem cells in females assume stem cell identity during the early pupal stage. Our results also suggest a model in which at least two prestem cells must be present within an ovariole for the specification of stem cell fate. When only a single pre-stem cell is sequestered by an ovariole, this cell does not assume stem cell identity, but instead follows the cystoblast-cystocyte differentiation pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-382
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Germline stem cells
  • Hybrid dysgenesis
  • Ovariole
  • Pre-stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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