Novel segment polarity gene interactions during embryonic head development in Drosophila

Amelia Gallitano-Mendel, Robert Finkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In the trunk of the Drosophila embryo, the segment polarity genes are initially activated by the pair-rule genes, and later maintain each other's expression through a complex network of cross-regulatory interactions. These interactions, which are critical to cell fate specification, are similar in each of the trunk segments. To determine whether segment polarity gene expression is established differently outside the trunk, we studied the regulation of the genes hedgehog (hh), wingless (wg), and engrailed (en) in each of the segments of the developing head. We show that the cross- regulatory relationships among these genes, as well as their initial mode of activation, in the anterior head are significantly different from those in the trunk. In addition, each head segment exhibits a unique network of segment polarity gene interactions. We propose that these segment-specific interactions evolved to specify the high degree of structural diversity required for head morphogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-613
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 15 1997


  • Drosophila
  • Engrailed
  • Head development
  • Hedgehog
  • Patched
  • Wingless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Novel segment polarity gene interactions during embryonic head development in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this