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Dev Biol. 2014 Jun 15;390(2):102-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.03.021. Epub 2014 Apr 5.

Neuroblast lineage identification and lineage-specific Hox gene action during postembryonic development of the subesophageal ganglion in the Drosophila central brain.

Author information

1
Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address: philipp.kuert@unibas.ch.
2
Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA. Electronic address: volkerh@mcdb.ucla.edu.
3
Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
4
Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA. Electronic address: jlovick@ucla.edu.
5
Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address: heinrich.reichert@unibas.ch.

Abstract

The central brain of Drosophila consists of the supraesophageal ganglion (SPG) and the subesophageal ganglion (SEG), both of which are generated by neural stem cell-like neuroblasts during embryonic and postembryonic development. Considerable information has been obtained on postembryonic development of the neuroblasts and their lineages in the SPG. In contrast, very little is known about neuroblasts, neural lineages, or any other aspect of the postembryonic development in the SEG. Here we characterize the neuroanatomy of the larval SEG in terms of tracts, commissures, and other landmark features as compared to a thoracic ganglion. We then use clonal MARCM labeling to identify all adult-specific neuroblast lineages in the late larval SEG and find a surprisingly small number of neuroblast lineages, 13 paired and one unpaired. The Hox genes Dfd, Scr, and Antp are expressed in a lineage-specific manner in these lineages during postembryonic development. Hox gene loss-of-function causes lineage-specific defects in axonal targeting and reduction in neural cell numbers. Moreover, it results in the formation of novel ectopic neuroblast lineages. Apoptosis block also results in ectopic lineages suggesting that Hox genes are required for lineage-specific termination of proliferation through programmed cell death. Taken together, our findings show that postembryonic development in the SEG is mediated by a surprisingly small set of identified lineages and requires lineage-specific Hox gene action to ensure the correct formation of adult-specific neurons in the Drosophila brain.

KEYWORDS:

Antp; Dfd; Hox; Neuroblast; Scr; lineage

PMID:
24713419
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.03.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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