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Mech Dev. 1996 May;56(1-2):61-72.

Expression patterns of developmental genes reveal segment and parasegment organization of D. melanogaster genital discs.

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Department of Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando 32816, USA.


We have used the expression patterns of genes known to be important during early Drosophila development to determine the segment-parasegment organization of the genital discs and to localize the three primordia in the male and female genital discs, engrailed (en) and hedgehog (hh) were used to locate posterior compartments in A8-A10, while cubitus interrupts (ci) localized the anterior compartments for each segment, decapentaplegic (dpp) identified the anterior cells that abut en and hh at the anterior-posterior border. abdominal-A (abd-A) identified the anterior compartment for abdominal segment 8 (aA8) in females but was not detected in the repressed female primordium in male discs. Abdominal-B (Abd-B) was expressed throughout the discs except for a small area along the edge of the posterior lobes, leaving open the possibility that A11 may contribute to the genital discs, caudal (cad) was expressed segmentally in the anal primordium of A10, extending through the Abd-B unstained region, wingless (wg) and gooseberry (gsb) may have assumed an added role in the discs perhaps providing proximal-distal cues. Models are presented to show how the segments and parasegments may fuse together during embryogenesis to form the mature male and female genital discs.

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