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Elife. 2014 Mar 5;3:e01440. doi: 10.7554/eLife.01440.

Dual mode of embryonic development is highlighted by expression and function of Nasonia pair-rule genes.

Author information

1
Center for Developmental Genetics, Department of Biology, New York University, New York, United States.

Abstract

Embryonic anterior-posterior patterning is well understood in Drosophila, which uses 'long germ' embryogenesis, in which all segments are patterned before cellularization. In contrast, most insects use 'short germ' embryogenesis, wherein only head and thorax are patterned in a syncytial environment while the remainder of the embryo is generated after cellularization. We use the wasp Nasonia (Nv) to address how the transition from short to long germ embryogenesis occurred. Maternal and gap gene expression in Nasonia suggest long germ embryogenesis. However, the Nasonia pair-rule genes even-skipped, odd-skipped, runt and hairy are all expressed as early blastoderm pair-rule stripes and late-forming posterior stripes. Knockdown of Nv eve, odd or h causes loss of alternate segments at the anterior and complete loss of abdominal segments. We propose that Nasonia uses a mixed mode of segmentation wherein pair-rule genes pattern the embryo in a manner resembling Drosophila at the anterior and ancestral Tribolium at the posterior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01440.001.

KEYWORDS:

Nasonia vitripennis; Tribolium; embryonic patterning; evolution; pair-rule genes; segmentation

PMID:
24599282
PMCID:
PMC3941026
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.01440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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