Molecular control of the female germline stem cell niche size in Drosophila

  • Hwei-Jan HsuEmail author
  • Majid Bahader
  • Chun-Ming Lai


Adult stem cells have a unique capacity to renew themselves and generate differentiated cells that are needed in the body. These cells are recruited and maintained by the surrounding microenvironment, known as the stem cell niche, during organ development. Thus, the stem cell niche is required for proper tissue homeostasis, and its dysregulation is associated with tumorigenesis and tissue degeneration. The identification of niche components and the mechanisms that regulate niche establishment and maintenance, however, are just beginning to be uncovered. Germline stem cells (GSCs) of the Drosophila ovary provide an excellent model for studying the stem cell niche in vivo because of their well-characterized cell biology and the availability of genetic tools. In this review, we introduce the ovarian GSC niche, and the key signaling pathways for niche precursor segregation, niche specification, and niche extracellular environment establishment and niche maintenance that are involved in regulating niche size during development and adulthood.


GSCs GSC niche Hh Notch Insulin Egfr Ecdysone ovary 



We thank Marcus Calkins for English editing.

Author contributions

MB wrote the introduction, CML drew the germarium and larval ovary schemes, and HJH wrote the paper.


The work was supported by the intramural funding from the Institute of Cellular and Organismic Biology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (107-2311-B-001-004-MY3).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Cellular and Organismic BiologyAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Developmental BiologySloan-Kettering InstituteNew YorkUSA

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