, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 105–117 | Cite as

An EM autoradiographic study on ovarian follicle cells of Drosophila melanogaster with special reference to the formation of egg coverings

  • F. Giorgi


Ovarian follicle cells of Drosophila melanogaster have been studied by ultrastructural and autoradiographic analyses.

During their migration through the germarium, follicle cells undergo several structural changes and, of these, the most conspicuous one occurs at the level of the nucleolus. By the time the first ovarian chamber is formed, follicle cells have formed a layer of uniform thickness all around a cluster or nurse cells and the oocyte. Following the initiation of vitellogenesis, the follicle cells overlying the oocyte become columnar while those over the nurse cells become very thin. During stages 9–10, the columnar follicle cells are involved in the formation of the vitelline membrane, while from stages 11 to 13 these cells produce the endochorion.

An EM autoradiographic analysis has shown that the rate of 3H-uridine incroporation in follicle cell nuclei is low in previtellogenic chambers, while it becomes very high in nuclei of stage 9–10 chambers. After short exposure to uridine, silver grains are located predominantly over nucleoli.

Evidence from incorporation studies with 3H-lysine indicates that the columnar follicle cells and the region of the various egg coverings are highly labelled within an hour of incubation in the tracer.

The observations confirm that columnar follicle cells are the only cells in the chamber involved in the formation of materials which make up the egg coverings.


Public Health Structural Change Special Reference Cell Nucleus Uridine 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Giorgi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di Istologia ed EmbriologiaUniversità di PisaPisaItaly

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