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Dev Biol. 1998 Feb 15;194(2):196-212.

Different spatial and temporal interactions between Notch, wingless, and vestigial specify proximal and distal pattern elements of the wing in Drosophila.

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Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


The wing of Drosophila is composed of a proximal element, the hinge, which attaches it to the thorax, and a distal one, the wing blade. The development of the wing is a complex process that requires the integration of cellular responses to two signaling systems centered along the anteroposterior and the dorsoventral axes. The genes Notch (N) and wingless (wg) play an important role in generating the information from the dorsoventral axis. The vestigial (vg) gene is necessary for the development of the wing and is a target of these signaling systems during the growth of the wing. Here we examine the roles that N, wg, and vg play during the initial stages of wing development. Our results reveal that vg is involved in the specification of the wing primordium under the combined control of Notch and wingless signaling. Furthermore, we show that once cells are assigned to the wing fate, their development relies on a sequence of regulatory loops that involve N, wg, and vg. During this process, cells that are exposed to the activity of both wg and vg will become wing blade and those that are continuously under the influence of wg alone will develop as hinge. Our results also indicate that the growth of the cells in the wing blade results from a synergistic effect of the three genes N, wg, and vg on the cells that have been specified as wing blade.

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