Somatic and germline cells interact during oogenesis to establish the pattern axes of the Drosophila eggshell and embryo. The role of the oocyte nucleus in pattern formation was tested with the use of laser ablation. Ablation in stage 6 to 9 egg chambers caused partial or complete ventralization of the eggshell, phenotypes similar to those of eggs produced bygurken or torpedo females. Accumulation of vasa protein at the posterior pole of treated oocytes was also disrupted. Thus the oocyte nucleus is required as late as stage 9 for dorsoventral patterning within the follicle cells and for polar plasm assembly in the oocyte.
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