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Bristle pattern formation in the thorax formation of Drosophila: a systems level approach
Negre de Bofarull, Bárbara
Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca
A fundamental question in developmental biology is how tissues are patterned to give rise to differentiated body structures with distinct morphologies. The Drosophila wing disc offers an accessible model to understand epithelial spatial patterning. It has been studied extensively using genetic and molecular approaches. Bristle patterns on the thorax, which arise from the medial part of the wing disc, are a classical model of pattern formation, dependent on a pre-pattern of trans-activators and –repressors. Despite of decades of molecular studies, we still only know a subset of the factors that determine the pre-pattern. We are applying a novel and interdisciplinary approach to predict regulatory interactions in this system. It is based on the description of expression patterns by simple logical relations (addition, subtraction, intersection and union) between simple shapes (graphical primitives). Similarities and relations between primitives have been shown to be predictive of regulatory relationships between the corresponding regulatory factors in other Systems, such as the Drosophila egg. Furthermore, they provide the basis for dynamical models of the bristle-patterning network, which enable us to make even more detailed predictions on gene regulation and expression dynamics. We have obtained a data-set of wing disc expression patterns which we are now processing to obtain average expression patterns for each gene. Through triangulation of the images we can transform the expression patterns into vectors which can easily be analysed by Standard clustering methods. These analyses will allow us to identify primitives and regulatory interactions. We expect to identify new regulatory interactions and to understand the basic Dynamics of the regulatory network responsible for thorax patterning. These results will provide us with a better understanding of the rules governing gene regulatory networks in general, and provide the basis for future studies of the evolution of the thorax-patterning network in particular.
Xarxes gèniques
Establiment del patró de desenvolupament
Disc imaginal d’ala
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8 p.
Els ajuts de l'AGAUR;2009BP-B00172

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