The Centrioles, Centrosomes, Basal Bodies, and Cilia of Drosophila melanogaster.
Centrioles play a key role in the development of the fly. They are needed for the correct formation of centrosomes, the organelles at the poles of the spindle that can persist as microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) into interphase. The ability to nucleate cytoplasmic microtubules (MTs) is a property of the surrounding pericentriolar material (PCM). The centriole has a dual life, existing not only as the core of the centrosome but also as the basal body, the structure that templates the formation of cilia and flagellae. Thus the structure and functions of the centriole, the centrosome, and the basal body have an impact upon many aspects of development and physiology that can readily be modeled in Drosophila Centrosomes are essential to give organization to the rapidly increasing numbers of nuclei in the syncytial embryo and for the spatially precise execution of cell division in numerous tissues, particularly during male meiosis. Although mitotic cell cycles can take place in the absence of centrosomes, this is an error-prone process that opens up the fly to developmental defects and the potential of tumor formation. Here, we review the structure and functions of the centriole, the centrosome, and the basal body in different tissues and cultured cells of Drosophila melanogaster, highlighting their contributions to different aspects of development and cell division.