The Rove Beetle Creophilus maxillosus as a Model System to Study Asymmetric Division, Oocyte Specification, and the Germ-Somatic Cell Signaling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Creophilus maxillosus (Staphylinidae, Coleoptera, Polyphaga) has a meroistic-telotrophic ovary composed of tropharium, which contains trophocytes (nurse cells) and vitellarium, which contains growing oocytes. The trophocytes are connected to the oocytes by cytoplasmic nutritive cords, which deliver nutrients to the oocytes. The formation/differentiation of the oocytes and trophocytes takes place in the pupal ovary within linear chains of sibling cells. Each chain is composed of a single oocyte connected to a linear chain of sister trophocytes. The nuclei of the oocytes contain an extrachromosomal DNA body (extra DNA body) consisting of amplified ribosomal DNA (rDNA). During oogenesis, the prospective oocyte, located at the base (posterior) of each chain, is the only cell within the chain that amplifies rDNA and retains permanent contact with the somatic pre-follicular cells. The oogonial divisions leading to the formation of the oocyte/trophocytes chain are asymmetric, and during consecutive divisions, the rDNA body always segregates basally (posteriorly) to the prospective oocyte abutted on the somatic cells. However, the segregation of rDNA is imperfect, and within each oocyte/trophocytes chain, there is a gradient of rDNA: the prospective oocyte has the highest amount of rDNA and the trophocyte that is most distant (most anterior) from the oocyte has no or the lowest amount of rDNA. In addition, the divisions within each chain are parasynchronous, with the pro-oocyte being the most mitotically advanced cell in the chain. These observations indicate the presence of a signaling gradient emanating from the somatic cells and/or oocyte; this gradient diminishes in strength with the increasing distance from its source, i.e., the oocyte/somatic cells. Because of this phenomenon, C. maxillosus is the perfect model in which to study the germ-somatic cell interactions and signaling. This chapter describes the methods for the collection and laboratory culture of C. maxillosus and the analysis of divisions and signaling in the C. maxillosus ovary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)0080-1844
ISSN (Electronic)1861-0412

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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