Int. J. Dev. Biol. 47: 497 - 503 (2003)
© UPV/EHU Press

'De-evolution' of Drosophila toward a more generic mode of axis patterning.

Jeremy Lynch and Claude Desplan

Department of Biology, New York University, New York 10003-6688, USA.

ABSTRACT The genetics of the establishment of the primary axes of the early embryo have been worked out in great detail Drosophila. However, evidence has accumulated that Drosophila employs a mode of patterning that is not shared with most insects. In particular, the use of the morphogenic gradient of the Bicoid homeoprotein appears to be a novel addition to the fly developmental toolkit. To better understand the ancestral mode of patterning that is probably more widely used by insects, several groups have used Evo-Devo approaches as well as sophisticated genetic manipulations of Drosophila to achieve some form of 'de-evolution' of this derived insect. Genetic manipulations of the beetle Tribolium and the wasp Nasonia have validated most of these results.