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Pattern formation inDrosophila melanogaster: The effects of mutations on polarity in the developing leg


The effects of the mutations eyeless dominant (ey D) and shibire (shi) on bristle pattern in the legs ofDrosophila melanogaster were examined. Both mutations cause gaps in the intersegmental membranes which separate leg segments and often alter the position of these membranes. It was observed that pattern disturbances including reversed bristle polarity and duplication of structures such as sex combs and transverse rows were associated with defects in the intersegmental membranes. The alterations in bristle polarity and most of the duplication of structures could be accounted for by a segmentally reiterated gradient in the legs which controls bristle polarity and which requires the integrity of the intersegmental membrane. A computer simulation of this gradient model was devised which accounted for the observed results. The possible role of cell death as a cause of the gaps in the intersegmental membrane and of some of the pattern disturbances was examined.

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Poodry, C.A., Schneiderman, H.A. Pattern formation inDrosophila melanogaster: The effects of mutations on polarity in the developing leg. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv 180, 175–188 (1976).

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  • Cell Death
  • Computer Simulation
  • Developmental Biology
  • Pattern Formation
  • Gradient Model