In Drosophila, extensive interactions between the soma and germline are required for oogenesis. Interactions between the somatic ovary and follicle cells influence the differentiation and organization of the egg chamber. There is also evidence that the soma is needed to maintain germline viability. Little is known about the nature of these interactions or their genetic components. In this paper we identified a gene required in the soma for germline viability. Mutations in poached egg result in the induction of apoptosis in the nurse cells of stage 7 and later egg chambers. If oogenesis is arrested prior to vitellogenesis, poached egg -induced apoptosis does not occur. This indicates that poached egg function is dependent on some stage-specific process which coincides with the onset of vitellogenesis. We describe the genetic analysis of this newly identified gene, including the generation of new alleles and genetic interactions with the yolk protein complex.
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We are grateful to members of the Nagoshi laboratory for helpful discussions. We thank the laboratories of Dr. Ganetzky and Dr. Jan for fly stocks and Dr. M. Bownes for the yolk protein antibody. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Carver Foundation.