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Confocal microscopy image of two Drosophila ovarioles

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Ovarioles in female insects are tubes in which egg cells (called oocytes) form at one end and complete their development as they reach the other end of the tube. This image, taken with a confocal microscope, shows ovarioles in a very popular lab animal, the fruit fly Drosophila. The basic structure of ovarioles supports very rapid egg production, with some insects (like termites) producing several thousand eggs per day. Each insect ovary typically contains 4–8 ovarioles, but this number varies widely depending on the insect species.

Scientists use insect ovarioles, for example, to study the basic processes that help various insects, including those that cause disease (like some mosquitos and biting flies), reproduce very quickly.


2004 Olympus BioScapes Competition

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Daniel Kirilly in the Ting Xie Lab, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and the 2004 Olympus BioScapes Competition


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This page last reviewed on January 4, 2017