pita1 homozygotes die as larvae with melanotic 'tumors'. Imaginal disc development appears normal in these animals. At stage 10 the nurse cell nuclei of pita1 germ-line clone egg chambers show crater-like structures. At early stages some of these egg chambers lack nurse cell nuclei completely (25% n=420). This correlates with ectopic expression of cell-death markers in nurse cells. At subsequent stages the dumping of the nurse cell cytoplasm into the egg fails in 80% of egg chambers (n=460). Nurse cell polytene chromosomes fail to disperse after stage 5 (as in wild-type), but instead remain visible as discrete individualized blobs throughout late stages.