Presence of mitochondrial large ribosomal RNA outside mitochondria in germ plasm of Drosophila melanogaster

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Science  04 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5113, pp. 1521-1524
DOI: 10.1126/science.7684857


Mitochondrial large ribosomal RNA (mtlrRNA) has been identified as a cytoplasmic factor that induces pole cell formation in embryos whose ability to form a germ line has been abolished by treatment with ultraviolet light. In situ hybridization analyses reveal that mtlrRNA is enriched in germ plasm and is tightly associated with polar granules, the distinctive organelles of germ plasm, which supports the idea that mtlrRNA functions in pole cell formation. This suggests that a product from the mitochondrial genome, along with nuclear products, participates in a key event in embryonic development: determination of the germ line.