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G3 (Bethesda). 2013 Mar;3(3):409-25. doi: 10.1534/g3.112.004747. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

A mosaic genetic screen for genes involved in the early steps of Drosophila oogenesis.

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Institut Curie, Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology (CNRS-UMR3215, Inserm-U934), 75248 Paris, Cedex 05, France.


The first hours of Drosophila embryogenesis rely exclusively on maternal information stored within the egg during oogenesis. The formation of the egg chamber is thus a crucial step for the development of the future adult. It has emerged that many key developmental decisions are made during the very first stages of oogenesis. We performed a clonal genetic screen on the left arm of chromosome 2 for mutations affecting early oogenesis. During the first round of screening, we scored for defects in egg chambers morphology as an easy read-out of early abnormalities. In a second round of screening, we analyzed the localization of centrosomes and Orb protein within the oocyte, the position of the oocyte within the egg chamber, and the progression through meiosis. We have generated a collection of 71 EMS-induced mutants that affect oocyte determination, polarization, or localization. We also recovered mutants affecting the number of germline cyst divisions or the differentiation of follicle cells. Here, we describe the analysis of nine complementation groups and eight single alleles. We mapped several mutations and identified alleles of Bicaudal-D, lethal(2) giant larvae, kuzbanian, GDP-mannose 4,6-dehydratase, tho2, and eiF4A. We further report the molecular identification of two alleles of the Drosophila homolog of Che-1/AATF and demonstrate its antiapoptotic activity in vivo. This collection of mutants will be useful to investigate further the early steps of Drosophila oogenesis at a genetic level.


Apoptosis; Drosophila; Germ cells; Mutagenesis; Oogenesis

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