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

developmental events to study how the development of wings is coordinated with the whole body of the fruit fly larvae.

The researchers first analysed the expression of six genes involved in the development of wings in normal conditions of growth, i.e. at a temperature of 25C, and generated a detailed staging scheme. Next, the researchers changed the temperature to affect the growth conditions of the larvae and analyzed the rate of wing development compared to the whole-body development. It is known that flies grow faster at higher temperatures and grow slower at lower temperatures. However, the researchers observed that the development of the wings was slower at 29C, compared to flies growing in normal conditions or flies growing at 18C. "This result surprised us, as we could clearly observe a delay in the development of these wings in wandering stage larvae, but their progression accelerated towards the stage of pupariation. This means that development shows variability in its progression, but converges at the milestone of pupariation", explains Marisa Oliveira, first author of this study.

Next, researchers modified the larval physiology by interfering with the hormone ecdysone that regulates the different developmental events in the larvae, such as wandering and pupariation. Similar to the temperature manipulations, when they altered the timing of ecdysone synthesis, they found that the wings developed slowly at first, but accelerated their development to achieve coordination at the stage of pupariation.

These results support the hypothesis proposed by this research team, that the development of the wings, in the fruit fly, is aligned with the whole-body development at two milestones: moulting and pupariation.

Marisa Oliveira concludes: "With this work we propose a new paradigm for thinking about organ-organ and organ-body coordination during development. We suggest that organisms achieve this coordination not by continuous but
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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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