Changes in rate of RNA synthesis and ribosomal gene number during oogenesis of Drosophila melanogaster

Jean Jacques Mermod, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, Marco Crippa

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30 Scopus citations


A new method for separating Drosophila egg chambers into different developmental classes (Jacobs-Lorena and Crippa, 1977) made it possible to study changes in the rate of ribosomal RNA (rRNA), 5S RNA, and tRNA synthesis and the changes in ribosomal gene number during oogenesis. Synthesis of RNA was measured by [3H]uridine incorporation in vivo and subsequent analysis on sucrose gradients or gel electrophoresis. Specific radioactivity of nucleotide pools has also been determined. Ribosomal gene number has been measured by hybridization of egg chamber DNA to rRNA of high specific radioactivity. Our findings led us to conclude that in Drosophila melanogaster: (i) rRNA, 5S RNA, and tRNA are synthesized in all stages of oogenesis. (ii) In every stage, rRNA is the main RNA species synthesized. (iii) The rate of rRNA, 5S RNA, and tRNA synthesis increases greatly during oogenesis and is paralleled by a similar increase in ribosomal gene number resulting from the polyploidization of the nurse cell nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-402
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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