Publication: Current Biology

Transcriptional Memory in the Drosophila Embryo


  • A live imaging technique reveals transcriptional memory in Drosophila embryos
  • Memory nuclei exhibit higher probabilities of rapid post-mitotic reactivation
  • Memory nuclei activate transcription twice as fast as inactive mothers



Transmission of active transcriptional states from mother to daughter cells has the potential to foster precision in the gene expression programs underlying development. Such transcriptional memory has been specifically proposed to promote rapid reactivation of complex gene expression profiles after successive mitoses in Drosophila development. By monitoring transcription in living Drosophila embryos, we provide the first evidence for transcriptional memory in animal development.

We specifically monitored the activities of stochastically expressed transgenes in order to distinguish active and inactive mother cells and the behaviors of their daughter nuclei after mitosis...



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