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Development. 2001 Jan;128(2):233-42.

Hindgut visceral mesoderm requires an ectodermal template for normal development in Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 2EJ, UK.


During Drosophila embryogenesis, the development of the midgut endoderm depends on interactions with the overlying visceral mesoderm. Here we show that the development of the hindgut also depends on cellular interactions, in this case between the inner ectoderm and outer visceral mesoderm. In this section of the gut, the ectoderm is essential for the proper specification and differentiation of the mesoderm, whereas the mesoderm is not required for the normal development of the ectoderm. Wingless and the fibroblast growth factor receptor Heartless act over sequential but interdependent phases of hindgut visceral mesoderm development. Wingless is required to establish the primordium and to enhance Heartless expression. Later, Heartless is required to promote the proper differentiation of the hindgut visceral mesoderm itself.

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