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The Pleiotropic Function of Delta during Postembryonic Development of Drosophila Melanogaster

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  • Investigations
  • Biology


Analysis of the development of Delta (Dl) temperature-sensitive mutants pulsed at restrictive temperature during larval and pupal stages reveals multiple phenocritical periods during which reduction of Dl function affects viability and development of adult structures. Dl function is required during the third larval instar for post-pupal viability and during the first day of pupal development for viability through eclosion. Dl function is required biphasically for the development of sensory bristles. Earlier pulses lead to bristle multiplication and later pulses lead to bristle loss. The exact intervals during which multiplication and loss are induced vary for different bristles. Dl function is also required for development of most, if not all, cell types in the retina. Different pulses result in reduction in eye size, scarring, and glossiness, as well as multiplication and loss of interommatidial bristles. We also define intervals during which Dl function is required for aspects of leg and wing development. Phenocritical periods for Dl function are temporally coincident with those previously reported for Notch (N), consistent with the hypothesis that the proteins encoded by Dl and N interact throughout development to assure correct specification of cell fates in a variety of imaginal tissues.

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