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Germline Progenitors Escape the Widespread Phenomenon of Homolog Pairing during Drosophila Development

Figure 1

Homologous chromosomes enter the germline unpaired.

A, Left: Schematic of a germarium showing pre-meiotic mitotic cell divisions as well as maturation of the meiotic cysts. The GSCs (purple nuclei) are positioned adjacent to the somatic niche (brown) and express high levels of SXL (green cytoplasm). Each GSC divides asymmetrically to produce a renewed stem cell and a differentiating cystoblast (CB, blue nucleus surrounded by green cytoplasm), which is positioned distal to the niche. The CB will undergo four more rounds of mitotic divisions to form a 16-cell cyst. Following these pre-meiotic stages, the 16-cell cyst will enter meiotic prophase, as defined by the initiation (zygotene) and complete formation (pachytene) of the synaptonemal complex (SC, red) between the paired homologs in two of the sixteen cells. Only a single cell will complete meiosis within each 16-cell cyst to form a mature egg (not shown) Arrow, direction of maturation. Right: Wild-type germarium stained for DNA (blue) and SXL (green). A GSC and CB are indicated by arrows and identified by SXL staining and relative position to somatic niche. Approximately 1–2 GSCs and 1–2 CBs are present in each germarium. Scale bar represents 10 µm. B, Drosophila chromosomes and targets of FISH probes (red). Heterochromatin is denoted in grey and rDNA cluster on the X-chromosome is in purple. C, Image of a GSC nucleus (dashed circle) at the tip of a germarium identified by DAPI (blue) surrounded by cytoplasmic SXL (green) staining and combined with FISH targeting AACAC (red) and dodeca (grey). Two signals for each FISH target represent separated homologous loci. Scale bar represents 5 µm. D, Percentage of nuclei exhibiting paired and unpaired loci in GSCs (left panel) and CBs (right panel). 15–30 ovaries were scored for each stage with a combined total of 242 GSC nuclei and 262 CB nuclei (approximately 30 nuclei for each locus at each stage). E, CB nuclei identified with SXL staining in combination with two-color FISH targeting AACAC (grey) and 24D (red) on Chromosome 2. Cartoon depicts hypothetical arrangement of homologous chromosomes as either unpaired or partially paired. Scale bars represents 5 µm.

Figure 1

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004013.g001