Open Access Open Badges Research article

Germline-dependent gene expression in distant non-gonadal somatic tissues of Drosophila

Michael J Parisi1*, Vaijayanti Gupta2, David Sturgill2, James T Warren3, Jean-Marc Jallon4, John H Malone2, Yu Zhang2, Lawrence I Gilbert3 and Brian Oliver2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

2 Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, NIDDK, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda MD, USA

3 Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC, USA

4 CNPS, UMR UPS-CNRS, Universite de Paris Sud, Orsay, France

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:346  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-346

Published: 1 June 2010



Drosophila females commit tremendous resources to egg production and males produce some of the longest sperm in the animal kingdom. We know little about the coordinated regulation of gene expression patterns in distant somatic tissues that support the developmental cost of gamete production.


We determined the non-gonadal gene expression patterns of Drosophila females and males with or without a germline. Our results show that germline-dependent expression in the non-gonadal soma is extensive. Interestingly, gene expression patterns and hormone titers are consistent with a hormone axis between the gonads and non-gonadal soma.


The germline has a long-range influence on gene expression in the Drosophila sexes. We suggest that this is the result of a germline/soma hormonal axis.