The follicle stem cells (FSCs) in the Drosophila ovary are an important experimental model for the study of epithelial stem cell biology. Although decades of research support the conclusion that there are two FSCs per ovariole, a recent study used a novel clonal marking system to conclude that there are 15-16 FSCs per ovariole. We performed clonal analysis using both this novel clonal marking system and standard clonal marking systems, and identified several problems that may have contributed to the overestimate of FSC number. In addition, we developed new methods for accurately measuring clone size, and found that FSC clones produce, on average, half of the follicle cells in each ovariole. Our findings provide strong independent support for the conclusion that there are typically two active FSCs per ovariole, though they are consistent with up to four FSCs per germarium.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1-5.
- Todd G Nystul
- Jocelyne Fadiga
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Yukiko M Yamashita, University of Michigan, United States
© 2019, Fadiga & Nystul
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