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bicoid mRNA localises to the Drosophila oocyte anterior from stage 9 of oogenesis onwards to provide a local source for Bicoid protein for embryonic patterning. Live imaging at stage 9 reveals that bicoid mRNA particles undergo rapid Dynein-dependent movements near the oocyte anterior, but with no directional bias. Furthermore, bicoid mRNA localises normally in shot2A2, which abolishes the polarised microtubule organisation. FRAP and photo-conversion experiments demonstrate that the RNA is stably anchored at the anterior, independently of microtubules. Thus, bicoid mRNA is localised by random active transport and anterior anchoring. Super-resolution imaging reveals that bicoid mRNA forms 110-120 nm particles with variable RNA content, but constant size. These particles appear to be well-defined structures that package the RNA for transport and anchoring.

Original publication

DOI

10.7554/eLife.17537

Type

Journal article

Journal

Elife

Publication Date

28/10/2016

Volume

5

Keywords

D. melanogaster, axis formation, bicoid, cell biology, developmental biology, dynein, mRNA localisation, microtubules, stem cells, Animals, Biological Transport, Active, Drosophila, Dyneins, Homeodomain Proteins, Oocytes, RNA, Messenger, Ribonucleoproteins, Trans-Activators