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Ribonucleoprotein condensates can exhibit diverse physical states in vitro and in vivo. Despite considerable progress, the relevance of condensate physical states for in vivo biological function remains limited. Here, we investigated the physical properties of processing bodies (P bodies) and their impact on mRNA storage in mature Drosophila oocytes. We show that the conserved DEAD-box RNA helicase Me31B forms viscous P body condensates, which adopt an arrested physical state. We demonstratedoi:10.17863/cam.78293 fatcat:ludhd3ax4ffydjatyoqtxya2ba