Germ cell cluster formation and ovariole structure in viviparous and oviparous generations of the aphid Stomaphis quercus.
The developing ovaries of S. quercus contain a limited number of oogonial cells which undergo a series of incomplete mitotic divisions resulting in the formation of clusters of cystocytes. Ovaries of viviparous generations contain 6 to 9 clusters, containing 32 cystocytes each, whereas ovaries of oviparous generations contain 5 clusters containing 45-60 cystocytes. During further development, clusters become surrounded by a single layer of follicular cells, and within each cluster the cystocytes differentiate into oocytes and trophocytes (nurse cells). Concurrently, cysts transform into ovarioles. The anterior part of the ovariole containing the trophocytes becomes the tropharium, whereas its posterior part containing oocytes transforms into the vitellarium. The vitellaria of viviparous females are composed of one or two oocytes, which develop until previtellogenesis. The nuclei of previtellogenic oocytes enter cycles of mitotic divisions which lead to the formation of the embryo. Ovarioles of oviparous females contain a single oocyte which develops through three stages: previtellogenesis, vitellogenesis and choriogenesis. The ovaries are accompanied by large cells termed bacteriocytes which harbor endosymbiotic microorganisms.