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Mech Dev. 2004 Apr;121(4):351-64.

Drosophila genetic variants that change cell size and rate of proliferation affect cell communication and hence patterning.

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Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Bioquimica y Bioligia Molecular, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco, CX504 Fac. Ciencias, Madrid 28049, Spain.


We explore in this paper the role of genetic variants that affect cell size and proliferation in the determination of organ size. We use genetic mosaics of loss or gain of function in six different loci, which promotes smaller or larger than normal cells, associated to either smaller or larger than normal territories. These variants have autonomous effects on patterning and growth in mutant territories. However, there is no correlation between cell size or rate of proliferation on the size of the mutant territory. In addition, these mosaics show non-autonomous effects on surrounding wildtype cells, consisting always in a reduction in number of non-mutant cells. In all mutant conditions the final size (and shape) of the wing is different than normal. The phenotypes of the same variants include higher density of chaetae in the notum. These autonomous and non-autonomous effects suggest that the control of size in the wing is the result of local cell communication defining canonic distances between cells in a positional-values landscape.

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