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Evol Dev. 2011 Mar-Apr;13(2):127-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2011.00463.x.

The evolution of oocyte patterning in insects: multiple cell-signaling pathways are active during honeybee oogenesis and are likely to play a role in axis patterning.

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Laboratory for Evolution and Development, Genetics Otago, Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, Aotearoa, New Zealand.


SUMMARY In Drosophila it is well established that signaling between the germline and surrounding follicle cells establishes the axes of the future embryo and is required for patterning of the eggshell. However, little is known about how this is achieved in other insects. Genome sequencing studies imply that maternal axis determination may be rapidly evolving, as a number of Drosophila maternal patterning genes are absent from the genomes of other insects. We have examined the distribution and function of six developmental signaling pathways present, and active, in honeybee ovarioles. We have confirmed an evolutionarily conserved role for transforming growth factor-α-epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in dorsal-ventral (DV) patterning. We also found evidence for the involvement of Dpp/Mad and JNK-MAPK pathways in DV patterning, unlike Drosophila. Several of these pathways are also active in the germarium, implicating them in germ and somatic stem cell maintenance and proliferation, similar to their activities in Drosophila ovaries.

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