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New study explains how organs coordinate their development with the whole body
Date:6/20/2014

This news release is available in Portuguese.

This news release is available in Portuguese.

A research group led by Christen Mirth at Instituto Gulbenkian de Cincia (Portugal) uncovered that the development of wings in fruit flies does not progress synchronously with the organism's development. Instead, it is coordinated with the whole body only at distinct 'milestones'. This study, published in the latest issue of the scientific journal PLOS Genetics*, helps explain how an organism facing environmental and physiological perturbations retains the ability to build correct functional organs and tissues in a proportional adult body.

For a growing organism it is essential to have robust developmental processes ensuring that the developing organs and tissues are formed correctly even in the face of environmental or physiological perturbations. To achieve robustness, the processes that generate individual organs must, at some level, be integrated across the whole body to ensure that a correctly patterned and proportioned adult is produced at the end of development. Christen Mirth and colleagues proposed to study how organ and whole-body development is coordinated, using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model organism. The juvenile period in the fruit fly comprises three larval moults, followed by a wandering stage where larvae leave the food and search for a site to begin metamorphosis at a stage called pupariation. The research team focused on these so-called
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Contact: Ana Mena
anamena@igc.gulbenkian.pt
351-214-407-959
Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia
Source:Eurekalert

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