Dividing Together

Dividing Together

Jaclyn Fingerhut

MIT Department of Biology, Whitehead Institute

In Drosophila males, germ cells develop as cysts. Very early in development a germ cell will become encapsulated by cyst cells and will remain encapsulated as it divides. Eventually, 64 sperm will be encapsulated together in a cyst. Within a cyst, the germ cells grow and divide in unison. This image depicts a cyst of germ cells synchronously undergoing meiosis, the special type of cell division that is used to produce sperm and eggs. Better understanding this specialized form of cell division is critical to our understanding of germ cell development.

a honeycomb of white-outlined compartments enclose fuzzy magenta blobs being pulled by green and blue spindles

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