We used live imaging to visualize the transcriptional dynamics of the Drosophila melanogaster even-skipped gene at single-cell and high temporal resolution as its seven stripe expression pattern forms, and developed tools to characterize and visualize how transcriptional bursting varies over time and space. We find that despite being created by the independent activity of five enhancers, even-skipped stripes are sculpted by the same kinetic phenomena: a coupled increase of burst frequency and amplitude. By tracking the position and activity of individual nuclei, we show that stripe movement is driven by the exchange of bursting nuclei from the posterior to anterior stripe flanks. Our work provides a conceptual, theoretical and computational framework for dissecting pattern formation in space and time, and reveals how the coordinated transcriptional activity of individual nuclei shape complex developmental patterns.
All of the raw and processed data described in this paper are available on Data Dryad at doi:10.6078/D1XX33 and computational notebooks with necessary data to regenerate analyses and figures is available in File S1 and at https://github.com/mbeisen/Berrocal_2020.
Kinetic sculpting of the seven stripes of the Drosophila even-skipped geneDryad Digital Repository, https://doi.org/10.6078/D1XX33.
- Michael B Eisen
- Hernan G Garcia
- Hernan G Garcia
- Nicholas C Lammers
- Augusto Berrocal
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Robert H Singer, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Berrocal 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.