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The Phylogenetic Origin of oskar Coincided with the Origin of Maternally Provisioned Germ Plasm and Pole
 

Summary: The Phylogenetic Origin of oskar Coincided with the
Origin of Maternally Provisioned Germ Plasm and Pole
Cells at the Base of the Holometabola
Jeremy A. Lynch1
*, Orhan OĻ zuĻ ak1
, Abderrahman Khila2
, Ehab Abouheif2
, Claude Desplan3
, Siegfried
Roth1
1 Institute for Developmental Biology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 2 Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 3 Center for
Developmental Genetics, Department of Biology, New York University, New York, New York, United States of America
Abstract
The establishment of the germline is a critical, yet surprisingly evolutionarily labile, event in the development of sexually
reproducing animals. In the fly Drosophila, germ cells acquire their fate early during development through the inheritance of
the germ plasm, a specialized maternal cytoplasm localized at the posterior pole of the oocyte. The gene oskar (osk) is both
necessary and sufficient for assembling this substance. Both maternal germ plasm and oskar are evolutionary novelties
within the insects, as the germline is specified by zygotic induction in basally branching insects, and osk has until now only
been detected in dipterans. In order to understand the origin of these evolutionary novelties, we used comparative
genomics, parental RNAi, and gene expression analyses in multiple insect species. We have found that the origin of osk and

  

Source: Abouheif, Ehab - Department of Biology, McGill University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology