, Volume 195, Issue 8, pp 489-498

Lineage analysis of transplanted individual cells in embryos of Drosophila melanogaster

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In this paper experiments concerning some aspects of the development of pole cells and midgut progenitors in Drosophila are reported. Cells were labelled by injecting horseradish-peroxidase (HRP) in embryos before pole bud formation and transplanted at different stages into unlabelled embryos, where the transplanted cells developed together with the unlabelled cells of the host. The hosts were then fixed and stained at different ages in order to demonstrate the presence of HRP in the progenies of transplanted cells. The main conlusions of the study are as follows. The gonads are the only organ to the formation of which pole cells normally contribute; those pole cells which do not participate in the formation of the gonads are finally eliminated or degenerate. Since the number of primordial germ cells in the gonads is the same irrespective of the number of pole cells present in the embryo, an (unknown) mechanism must exist regulating the final number of pole cells in each of the gonads. After their formation and before reaching the gonads, pole cells have been found to divide only up to two times. With respect to the midgut progenitors, the cells of both anlagen have been found to be committed to develop into midgut, although they behave as equivalent in that they do not apparently distinguish between the anterior and posterior anlage. Midgut progenitors have been found to divide a maximum of three times and to produce two different types of cells, epithelial cells of the midgut wall and spindle-like cells located internally in the gut.