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Fs(1)yb Is Required for Ovary Follicle Cell Differentiation in Drosophila Melanogaster and Has Genetic Interactions with the Notch Group of Neurogenic Genes

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Phenotypic and genetic analyses demonstrate that fs(1)Yb activity is required in the soma for the development of a subset of ovarian follicle cells and to support later stages of egg maturation. Mutations in fs(1)Yb cause a range of ovarian phenotypes, from the improper segregation of egg chambers to abnormal dorsal appendage formation. The mutant phenotypes associated with fs(1)Yb are very similar to the ovarian aberrations produced by temperature-sensitive alleles of Notch and Delta. Possible functional or regulatory interactions between fs(1)Yb and Notch are suggested by genetic studies. A duplication of the Notch locus partially suppresses the female-sterility caused by fs(1)Yb mutations, while reducing Notch dosage makes the fs(1)Yb mutant phenotype more severe. In addition, fs(1)Yb alleles also interact with genes that are known to act with or regulate Notch activity, including Delta, daughterless, and mastermind. However, differences between the mutant ovarian phenotype of fs(1)Yb and that of Notch or Delta indicate that the genes do not have completely overlapping functions in the ovary. We propose that fs(1)Yb acts as an ovary-specific factor that determines follicle cell fate.

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