Posterior polar plasm of the Drosophila egg has been shown to function autonomously in germ cell determination after transplantation to either the anterior or mid-ventral region of the early embryo. By means of similar transplantations, we have tested the ability of polar plasm of Drosophila immigrans to induce the formation of pole cells in a Drosophila melanogaster embryo. After the transplantation of polar plasm, "hybrid" pole cells were found in which both pole cell-specific organelles, the polar granules and nuclear body, were structurally similar to those characteristic of the transplanted cytoplasm. In order to determine whether these hybrid cells can function as germ cell precursors, these cells were transplanted to the posterior tip of genetically marked embryos. Approximately 5% of the flies obtained from embryos receiving potential pole cells produce offspring derived from the induced pole cells. This result demonstrates that polar plasm can function in interspecific species combinations and indicates that the molecular mechanisms of germ cell determination are conservative in evolution. Finally, in order to test whether there is any evidence for cytoplasmic inheritance of polar granules, embryos derived from hybrid pole cells were examined for their polar granule morphology. The fine structure of the granules conformed to that of the nucleus. Thus, no evidence was found for the cytoplasmic inheritance of these particular organelles.

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