Getting poster data...
Jasmin Imran Alsous, Paul Villoutreix, and Stanislav Shvartsman (Princeton University, NJ, USA)Eggs arise from germline cysts, a conserved phase of germ cell development from higher insects to mammals. In fruit flies, cyst development begins when a primordial germ cell undergoes 4 rounds of mitotic divisions, giving rise to a 16-cell cyst. These cells are stereotypically connected by membranous canals, allowing each cell to be uniquely identified across all cysts. Perturbations that disrupt cyst formation cause infertility, yet fundamental questions regarding the cells’ spatial organization have remained unanswered. Using 3D images and membrane-based surface reconstructions of 35 labeled cysts, we extracted neighbor-based positional information on each cell, and the cysts’ corresponding network representation. We then further reduced the cysts’ 3D descriptor to an unambiguous 1D letter-identifier. A comparison of the cysts’ network distribution to a null model reveals that cysts do not explore the space of possible configurations randomly. This suggests a bias either in the planes of initial cell divisions, or in the final packing of the cells, and emphasizes the indispensability of effective visualization to uncovering mechanisms underlying most biol