Int. J. Dev. Biol. 44: 581 - 589 (2000)
© UPV/EHU Press

Female sterile mutations and egg chamber development in Drosophila melanogaster.

S Gigliotti, D Rotoli, A Manzi, F Graziani and C Malva

Istituto Internazionale di Genetica e Biofisica, CNR, Napoli, Italy.

ABSTRACT Drosophila oogenesis provides an excellent opportunity to study fundamental aspects of developmental biology and to learn the importance of multiple signalling pathways in the regulation of cellular morphogenesis. Taking advantage of the genetic and molecular approaches extremely powerful in this organism, over the years an enormous collection of data has accumulated on the genes involved in important steps of egg chamber development, such as germline and somatic stem cell maintenance, division and differentiation; oocyte determination and positioning; establishment of follicle cell fate and axes formation. These different processes are mediated by a reciprocal cross-talk between germline and somatic follicle cells. Here, in a schematic and simplified form, we point out what we believe are the main recent results on the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying ovarian development and outline our recent contribution to this field.