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Free Content Changes in subcellular localization of mtlrRNA outside mitochondria in oogenesis and early embryogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster

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Mitochondrial large ribosomal RNA (mtlrRNA) has been identified as a cytoplasmic factor inducing pole cells in ultraviolet (UV)-sterilized Drosophila embryos. In situ hybridization studies have revealed that mtlrRNA is present outside mitochondria localized on the surface of polar granules during the cleavage stage. In the present study, we describe the developmental changes in extramitochondrial mtlrRNA distribution through early embryogenesis using in situ hybridization at the light and electron microscopic level. No mtlrRNA signal was discernible on polar granules in the mature oocyte, unless the oocyte was activated for development. mtlrRNA was localized on the surface of polar granules during a limited period of stages from oocyte activation to pole bud formation and disappeared as soon as being detached from polar granules without entering pole cells. These changes in the temporal and spatial distribution of mtlrRNA outside mitochondria are compatible with the idea that mtlrRNA is required for pole cell formation but not for the differentiation of pole cells as functional germ cells.

Keywords: Drosophila; electron microscopy; in situ hybridization; mtlrRNA; pole cell formation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Biological Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305, Japan.

Publication date: October 1, 1996


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