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Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 26;6:6679. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7679.

Fundamental origins and limits for scaling a maternal morphogen gradient.

Author information

1
Division of Biomedical Informatics, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.
2
1] Division of Biomedical Informatics, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA [2] State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 15 Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China [3] University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China.
3
1] State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 15 Datun Road, Beijing 100101, China [2] Sino-French Hoffmann Institute, Guangzhou Medical University, 195 Dongfengxi Road, Guangzhou 510182, China.
4
1] Division of Biomedical Informatics, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA [2] Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation, 3333 Burnet Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.

Abstract

Tissue expansion and patterning are integral to development; however, it is unknown quantitatively how a mother accumulates molecular resources to invest in the future of instructing robust embryonic patterning. Here we develop a model, Tissue Expansion-Modulated Maternal Morphogen Scaling (TEM(3)S), to study scaled anterior-posterior patterning in Drosophila embryos. Using both ovaries and embryos, we measure a core quantity of the model, the scaling power of the Bicoid (Bcd) morphogen gradient's amplitude nA. We also evaluate directly model-derived predictions about Bcd gradient and patterning properties. Our results show that scaling of the Bcd gradient in the embryo originates from, and is constrained fundamentally by, a dynamic relationship between maternal tissue expansion and bcd gene copy number expansion in the ovary. This delicate connection between the two transitioning stages of a life cycle, stemming from a finite value of nA~3, underscores a key feature of developmental systems depicted by TEM(3)S.

PMID:
25809405
PMCID:
PMC4375784
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms7679
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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