Cell interactions involved in development of the bilaterally symmetrical intestinal valve cells during embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

B. Bowerman, F. E. Tax, J. H. Thomas, J. R. Priess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe two different cell interactions that appear to be required for the proper development of a pair of bilaterally symmetrical cells in Caenorhabditis elegans called the intestinal valve cells. Previous experiments have shown that at the beginning of the 4-cell stage of embryogenesis, two sister blastomeres called ABa and ABp are equivalent in developmental potential. We show that cell interactions between ABp and a neighboring 4-cell-stage blastomere called P2 distinguish the fates of ABa and ABp by inducing descendants of ABp to produce the intestinal valve cells, a cell type not made by ABa. A second cell interaction appears to occur later in embryogenesis when two bilaterally symmetrical descendants of ABp, which both have the potential to produce valve cells, contact each other; production of the valve cells subsequently becomes limited to only one of the two descendants. This second interaction does not occur properly if the two symmetrical descendants of ABp are prevented from contacting each other. Thus the development of the intestinal valve cells appears to require both an early cell interaction that establishes a bilaterally symmetrical pattern of cell fate and a later interaction that breaks the symmetrical cell fate pattern by restricting to only one of two cells the ability to produce a pair of valve cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1122
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment
Volume116
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1992

Keywords

  • Bilateral symmetry
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Cell fate
  • Embryogenesis
  • Equivalence groups
  • Induction
  • Lateral signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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