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Development. 1995 Jul;121(7):1979-88.

Mutations in a novel gene, myoblast city, provide evidence in support of the founder cell hypothesis for Drosophila muscle development.

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Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK.


We have used mutations in the newly identified gene myoblast city to investigate the founder cell hypothesis of muscle development in Drosophila melanogaster. In embryos mutant for myoblast city the fusion of myoblasts into multinucleate muscles is virtually abolished. Nevertheless, a subset of the myoblasts develop specific muscle-like characteristics, including gene expression appropriate to particular muscles, migration to the appropriate part of the segment, correct position and orientation, and contact by motor neurons. We suggest that this subset of myoblasts represents the proposed muscle founder cells and we draw an analogy between these founder cells and the muscle pioneers described for grasshopper muscle development.

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