1. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
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Identification of a new stem cell population which generates Drosophila flight muscles

  1. Rajesh D Gunage
  2. Heinrich Reichert
  3. K VijayRaghavan  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India
  2. University of Basel, Switzerland
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2014;3:e03126 doi: 10.7554/eLife.03126


How myoblast populations are regulated for the formation of muscles of different sizes is an essentially unanswered question. The large flight muscles of Drosophila develop from adult muscle progenitor (AMP) cells set-aside embryonically. The thoracic segments are all allotted the same small AMP number, while those associated with the wing-disc proliferate extensively to give rise to over 2500 myoblasts. An initial amplification occurs through symmetric divisions and is followed by a switch to asymmetric divisions in which the AMPs self-renew and generate post-mitotic myoblasts. Notch signaling controls the initial amplification of AMPs, while the switch to asymmetric division additionally requires Wingless, which regulates Numb expression in the AMP lineage. In both cases, the epidermal tissue of the wing imaginal disc acts as a niche expressing the ligands Serrate and Wingless. The disc-associated AMPs are a novel muscle stem cell population that orchestrates the early phases of adult flight muscle development.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Rajesh D Gunage

    National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  2. Heinrich Reichert

    University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. K VijayRaghavan

    National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    K VijayRaghavan, Senior editor, eLife.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Duojia Pan, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: April 17, 2014
  2. Accepted: August 15, 2014
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 18, 2014 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: September 23, 2014 (version 2)


© 2014, Gunage et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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