The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 40: 1043 - 1051 (1996)

Vol 40, Issue 5

Cellular pathways acting along the germband and in the amnioserosa may participate in germband retraction of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo

Published: 1 October 1996

R Goldman-Levi, C Miller, G Greenberg, E Gabai and N B Zak

Hubert H. Humphrey Center for Experimental Medicine and Cancer Research, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


Germband retraction in Drosophila melanogaster, like most embryonic morphogenetic events in this organism and in higher eukaryotes, is not well understood. We have taken several approaches to study the relationships between previously identified mutations (u-shaped, serpent, hindsight and tailup) that selectively cause germband retraction defects in homozygous embryos, and a more pleiotropically acting locus, DER/faint little ball. Our observations from genetic, immunohistochemical, and embryo culture experiments suggest that the former four loci are elements of at least two parallel and partially redundant cellular pathways that affect germband retraction by acting in amnioserosal development or maintenance. An additional discrete and unique pathway, represented by DER/faint little ball, is likely to function in the germband itself. While the role of the amnioserosa during germband retraction appears to be permissive, the action of DER in the germband may be mediated by the cytoskeleton.

Full text in web format is not available for this article. Please download the PDF version.