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

Figure 3

Homolog separation is maintained in primordial germ cells throughout embryogenesis.

A, Drosophila life-cycle. The Drosophila embryo develops through a series of synchronized, rapid divisions for the first 2.5 hours (h) after egg lay (AEL). Approximately 8–10 nuclei separate from the somatic divisions, migrate to the posterior pole of the embryo, and, following up to two further divisions, give rise to ∼15–30 primordial germ cells [38]. These cells will eventually produce the adult GSCs, from which haploid gametes are derived. B, Using DAPI (blue) and an antibody to the germline-specific protein VASA (red), primordial germ cells (PGCs) are identified at the posterior pole of embryos 2.5 h AEL and within the embryonic gonad 14 h AEL. Right-most column are magnified images of PGCs and somatic cells at the respective embryonic stages with FISH targeting AACAC (green). White arrowheads denote PGC loci and orange arrowheads denote somatic loci. Scale bars represent 10 µm. C–D, Percentage of pairing in embryos 2.5 h (C) and 14 h (D) AEL within somatic and PGC nuclei (n.s. not significant, *p<0.05, **p<0.0001). The chromatin state (Het, heterochromatin, or Eu, euchromatin), and chromosome are noted below each FISH target. For each data point, 46–98 nuclei were scored from a total of 6–7 embryos (see Materials and Methods).

Figure 3