The Drosophila melanogaster
cell line 1182-4, which constitutively lacks centrioles, was established many years ago from haploid embryos laid by females homozygous for the maternal haploid (mh)
mutation. This was the first clear example of animal cells regularly dividing in the absence of this organelle. However, the cause of the acentriolar nature of the 1182-4 cell line remained unclear and could not be clearly assigned to a particular genetic event. Here, we detail historically the longstanding mystery of the lack of centrioles in this Drosophila
cell line. Recent advances, such as the characterization of the mh
gene and the genomic analysis of 1182-4 cells, allow now a better understanding of the physiology of these cells. By combining these new data, we propose three reasonable hypotheses of the genesis of this remarkable phenotype.
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