News from IBE (CSIC-UPF)
IBE scientists leaded by the CSIC researcher Maria Dolors Piulachs describe the function of a key protein in the reproduction of cockroaches. The study, published today in the journal Open Biology, elucidates the role of Notch, a protein involved in cell signaling, in the formation of the eggs. In the article, Piulachs and colleagues have analyzed the oocytes of Blattella germanica, which have an ancestral ovary type (panoistic) from which the more complex ovaries (meroistic) have evolved.
During the formation of the oocytes in the insect meroistic ovaries, Notch regulates the transition from mitotic to endoreplication stage in the follicular cells, which are the basic units of female reproductive biology. In contrast, in the ancestral panoistic ovaries of B. germanica Notch is in charge of maintaining the follicular cells in an immature state. This indicates that the role of Notch experienced important changes in the evolutionary transition from panoistic to meroistic ovaries.
Irles P, Elshaer N, and Piulachs MD (2015). The Notch pathway regulates both the proliferation and differentiation of follicular cells in the panoistic ovary of Blattella germanica. Open Biology