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Cell. 1985 Oct;42(3):791-8.

Establishment of dorsal-ventral polarity in the Drosophila embryo: the induction of polarity by the Toll gene product.


Drosophila females that lack Toll gene activity produce dorsalized embryos, in which all embryonic cells behave like the dorsal cells of the wild-type embryo. Injection of wild-type cytoplasm into young Toll- embryos restores their ability to produce a normal dorsal-ventral pattern in a position-dependent manner. No matter where the cytoplasm is injected relative to the dorsal-ventral axis of the egg shell, the position of the injected cytoplasm defines the ventralmost part of the rescued pattern. Although injection of wild-type cytoplasm into mutants at six other dorsal-group loci also restores the ability to produce lateral and ventral structures, only Toll- embryos lack any residual dorsal-ventral polarity. Experiments suggest that the activity of the Toll product is normally regulated by other dorsal-group genes and that the function of the Toll product is to provide the source for a morphogen gradient in the dorsal-ventral axis of the wild-type embryo.

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