Developmenta Biology Colloquium - Dr. Alyssa Armstrong

Adipose tissue nutrient sensing influences the ovarian stem cell lineage in Drosophila melanogaster
Mar 11, 2022, 12:00 pm1:00 pm
Virtual via Zoom only


Dr. Alyssa Armstrong
Assistant Professor
University of South Carolina


Event Description

Organismal nutritional status influences reproductive output by impacting gamete production. The energy-intensive process of oogenesis requires coordinated nutritional responses between multiple organs. In Drosophila melanogaster females, the stem cell-supported ovary sustains robust reproductive capacity and is sensitive to dietary changes. Female flies fed suboptimal diets, e.g. protein poor, high sugar, or high fat, display significantly reduced egg production rates. This response to diet is mediated by highly conserved nutrient-sensing pathways that function tissue autonomously, within the ovary, as well as non-autonomously, within the adipose tissue. We have shown that amino acid sensing, via the amino acid response (AAR) pathway and mTOR, and insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (IIS) within adipocytes controls multiple steps of oogenesis, including germline stem cell maintenance, germline survival, and ovulation, in a complex manner. We use genetic and cell biological tools to decipher the molecular mechanisms of adipocyte insulin signaling and amino acid sensing that control oocyte development. Ultimately, we aim to identify adipocyte factors downstream of IIS, AAR pathway, and mTOR that modulate Drosophila oocyte development. This work will illuminate how inter-organ communication coordinates organismal nutritional status with oocyte production.


Department of Molecular Biology - Alana Bernys
Event Category
Developmental Biology Colloquia