1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Developmental Biology
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Odd-paired controls frequency doubling in Drosophila segmentation by altering the pair-rule gene regulatory network

  1. Erik Clark  Is a corresponding author
  2. Michael Akam
  1. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Research Article
  • Cited 17
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e18215 doi: 10.7554/eLife.18215

Abstract

The Drosophila embryo transiently exhibits a double segment periodicity, defined by the expression of seven "pair-rule" genes, each in a pattern of seven stripes. At gastrulation, interactions between the pair-rule genes lead to frequency doubling and the patterning of fourteen parasegment boundaries. In contrast to earlier stages of Drosophila anteroposterior patterning, this transition is not well understood. By carefully analysing the spatiotemporal dynamics of pair-rule gene expression, we demonstrate that frequency-doubling is precipitated by multiple coordinated changes to the network of regulatory interactions between the pair-rule genes. We identify the broadly expressed but temporally patterned transcription factor, Odd-paired (Opa/Zic), as the cause of these changes, and show that the patterning of the even-numbered parasegment boundaries relies on Opa-dependent regulatory interactions. Our findings indicate that the pair-rule gene regulatory network has a temporally-modulated topology, permitting the pair-rule genes to play stage-specific patterning roles.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Erik Clark

    Laboratory for Development and Evolution, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    ec491@cam.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5588-796X
  2. Michael Akam

    Laboratory for Development and Evolution, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-0063-2297

Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (PhD Studentship)

  • Erik Clark

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Patricia J Wittkopp, University of Michigan, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 26, 2016
  2. Accepted: August 14, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 15, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: September 23, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Clark & Akam

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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