What a Dump: Intercellular Flow for Egg Development

What a Dump: Intercellular Flow for Egg Development

Jonathan Jackson, Adam Martin

MIT Department of Biology

This image illustrates the process of “nurse cell dumping” in four fruit fly egg chambers. In each chamber, a protein typically found in cell nuclei (cyan) flows between support cells (outlined by their cell membranes in red) toward a developing egg cell, whose own nucleus can be seen in the respective large compartment at image edge.

The Martin Lab, in collaboration with the Dunkel Lab (MIT Department of Mathematics), analyzes the dynamics of the dumping to understand how the transfer of cellular material is regulated during organismal development. The individual eggs seen here vary in age by a few hours, with the youngest egg chamber at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

a pinwheel of red cell compartments with cyan nuclei

Video

Jonathan Jackson shares the story behind his award-winning image.