The long-term survival of any multicellular species depends on the success of its germline in producing high-quality gametes and maximizing survival of the offspring. Studies in Drosophila melanogaster have led our growing understanding of how germline stem cell (GSC) lineages maintain their function and adjust their behavior according to varying environmental and/or physiological conditions. This review compares and contrasts the local regulation of GSCs by their specialized microenvironments, or niches; discusses how diet and diet-dependent factors, mating, and microorganisms modulate GSCs and their developing progeny; and briefly describes the tie between physiology and development during the larval phase of the germline cycle. Finally, it concludes with broad comparisons with other organisms and some future directions for further investigation.
- germline stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas