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Exp Cell Res. 2013 Oct 15;319(17):2566-77. doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2013.06.021. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Effect of myonuclear number and mitochondrial fusion on Drosophila indirect flight muscle organization and size.

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Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka 560 012, India.


Mechanisms involved in establishing the organization and numbers of fibres in a muscle are not completely understood. During Drosophila indirect flight muscle (IFM) formation, muscle growth is achieved by both incorporating hundreds of nuclei, and hypertrophy. As a result, IFMs provide a good model with which to understand the mechanisms that govern overall muscle organization and growth. We present a detailed analysis of the organization of dorsal longitudinal muscles (DLMs), a subset of the IFMs. We show that each DLM is similar to a vertebrate fascicle and consists of multiple muscle fibres. However, increased fascicle size does not necessarily change the number of constituent fibres, but does increase the number of myofibrils packed within the fibres. We also find that altering the number of myoblasts available for fusion changes DLM fascicle size and fibres are loosely packed with myofibrils. Additionally, we show that knock down of genes required for mitochondrial fusion causes a severe reduction in the size of DLM fascicles and fibres. Our results establish the organization levels of DLMs and highlight the importance of the appropriate number of nuclei and mitochondrial fusion in determining the overall organization, growth and size of DLMs.


Drosophila; Indirect flight muscles; Mitochondrial fusion; Muscle organization; Myoblast; Myonuclear number

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