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Development. 2008 Dec;135(24):3995-4001. doi: 10.1242/dev.027789. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Notch signalling coordinates tissue growth and wing fate specification in Drosophila.

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ICREA and Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Científic de Barcelona, Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


During the development of a given organ, tissue growth and fate specification are simultaneously controlled by the activity of a discrete number of signalling molecules. Here, we report that these two processes are extraordinarily coordinated in the Drosophila wing primordium, which extensively proliferates during larval development to give rise to the dorsal thoracic body wall and the adult wing. The developmental decision between wing and body wall is defined by the opposing activities of two secreted signalling molecules, Wingless and the EGF receptor ligand Vein. Notch signalling is involved in the determination of a variety of cell fates, including growth and cell survival. We present evidence that growth of the wing primordium mediated by the activity of Notch is required for wing fate specification. Our data indicate that tissue size modulates the activity range of the signalling molecules Wingless and Vein. These results highlight a crucial role of Notch in linking proliferation and fate specification in the developing wing primordium.

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