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Cell. 1990 Sep 21;62(6):1041-52.

Cell interactions coordinate the development of the C. elegans egg-laying system.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


Egg laying by the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires the functioning of the vulva, the gonad, the egg-laying muscles, and the two HSN neurons, which innervate these muscles. By analyzing a newly isolated mutant (dig-1) that displaces the gonad, we discovered that cell interactions coordinate the spatial relationships among the different components of the egg-laying system. First, the gonad induces the formation of the vulva, and vulval induction by dorsal gonads strongly suggests that the inductive signal can act at a distance. Second, the gonad acts at a distance to regulate the migrations of the sex myoblasts that generate the egg-laying musculature. Third, the positions of the axonal branch and synapses of each HSN neuron are displaced correspondingly with the rest of the egg-laying system in dig-1 animals, which suggests that cell interactions also control aspects of HSN development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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