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Gene. 1994 Jan 28;138(1-2):181-6.

P element transformation vectors for studying Drosophila melanogaster oogenesis and early embryogenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032.


We have constructed six new P-element-based Drosophila melanogaster transformation vectors that specifically allow for the high-level accumulation of any RNA of interest in the developing egg and pre-blastoderm embryo. Such specificity results, in part, from the inclusion in the vectors of an enhancer active exclusively in nurse cells, the principal providers of RNA to the egg and early embryo. The nurse cell enhancer was derived from the hsp26 heat-shock (HS) gene, but its activity was neither dependent on nor sensitive to HS. In addition to the nurse cell enhancer, two of the vectors contain sequences from the K10 gene that promote the early transfer of RNAs from nurse cells into the oocyte; RNAs that contain the K10 sequence are transferred into the oocyte during the early to middle stages of oogenesis (i.e., during stages 2-9), while RNAs that lack such sequences are stored in nurse cells until stage 11. All of the vectors contain a tsp and a multiple cloning site (MCS) immediately downstream from the hsp26 nurse cell enhancer. In three of the vectors, the MCS is preceded by an ATG start codon. A wild-type copy of the white gene is included in all of the vectors as a selectable marker for transformation. The specificity of the vectors was demonstrated by the analysis of the expression patterns of lacZ derivatives.

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