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Mutations in the rotated abdomen locus affect muscle development and reveal an intrinsic asymmetry in Drosophila.

AuthorsMartín-Blanco, Enrique ; García-Bellido, Antonio
Issue Date1996
PublisherNational Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
CitationProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 93(12): 6048–6052 (1996)
AbstractIn bilateral animals, the left and right sides of the body usually present asymmetric structures, the genetic bases of whose generation are still largely unknown [CIBA Foundation (1991) Biological Asymmetry and Handedness, CIBA Foundation Symposium 162 (Wiley, New York), pp. 1-327]. In Drosophila melanogaster, mutations in the rotated abdomen (rt) locus cause a clockwise helical rotation of the body. Even null alleles are viable but exhibit defects in embryonic muscle development, rotation of the whole larval body, and helical staggering of cuticular patterns in abdominal segments of the adult. rotated abdomen is expressed in the embryonic mesoderm and midgut but not in the ectoderm; it encodes a putative integral membrane glycoprotein (homologous to key yeast mannosyltransferases). Mesodermal cells defective in O-glycosylation lead to an impaired larval muscular system. We propose that the staggering of the adult abdominal segments would be a consequence of the relaxation of intrinsic rotational torque of muscle architecture, preventing the colateral alignment of the segmental histoblast cells during their proliferation at metamorphosis.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.93.12.6048
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