Novel regulators of germline stem cells

Project Details

The Drosophila testis contains two populations of stem cells (germline and somatic) that cross-regulate each other to generate a stem cell niche that permits regeneration of the germline and a regulated process of germ cell differentiation.

Many genetic tools are available to manipulate and trace the cell populations of the niche. Germline stem cells are regulate by signalling pathways that play roles in many organ systems e.g. Notch, Egfr, BMP, JAK/STAT, Hh.

In this project we have undertaken a genetic screen in larval testes to identify genes that have previously not been associated with stem cell regulation as loss of function mutants may arrest development prior to the adult stage. The screen has identified a number of mutants that result in either gain of loss of germ cells.  We are currently isolating the genes associated with these mutations and examining their function in stem cell regulation.


Nicole Siddall, Postdoctoral Researcher

James Heaney, PhD student


Professor Kate Loveland, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Research Publications

Siddall NA, Hime GR. A Drosophila toolkit for defining gene function in spermatogenesis. Reproduction 2017; 153: R121-132.

Dominado N, La Marca JE, Siddall NA, Heaney J, Tran M, Cai Y, Yu F, Wang H, Somers WG, Quinn LM*, Hime GR*. Rbf regulates Drosophila spermatogenesis via control of somatic stem and progenitor cell fate in the larval testis. Stem Cell Reports 2016; 6: 1152-1163
*joint senior authors

Research Group

Hime laboratory: Stem cell genetics and Drosophila models of human disease

Faculty Research Themes

Cancer, Child Health

School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine, Cell Signalling, Stem Cells

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Physiology

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