Animal embryos are provided by their mothers with a diverse nutrient supply that is crucial for development. In Drosophila, the three most abundant nutrients (triglycerides, proteins and glycogen) are sequestered in distinct storage structures: lipid droplets (LDs), yolk vesicles (YVs) and glycogen granules (GGs). Using transmission electron microscopy as well as live and fixed sample fluorescence imaging, we find that all three storage structures are dispersed throughout the egg but are then spatially allocated to distinct tissues by gastrulation: LDs largely to the peripheral epithelium, YVs and GGs to the central yolk cell. To confound the embryo's ability to sort its nutrients, we employ Jabba and mauve mutants to generate LD-GG and LD-YV compound structures. In these mutants, LDs are mis-sorted to the yolk cell and their turnover is delayed. Our observations demonstrate dramatic spatial nutrient sorting in early embryos and provide the first evidence for its functional importance.

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