Forces shaping the Drosophila wing

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How genes encode the three-dimensional shape of tissues is a fascinating problem in biology. Pioneering genetic studies in the fruit fly Drosophila have identified key genes that control the generation of force patterns in the developing wing. Shortrange force patterns generated by planar polarised myosins can promote boundary formation and tissue elongation during the larval wing disc stage. Long-range force patterns are also crucial to shaping the wing during the pupal stage. We review the different ways in which both local and global force patterns can be generated, such as: patterned acto-myosin contractility, patterned anchorage to the extracellular matrix, and patterned tissue growth. In all cases, the balance between force, mass, and resistance explains how the resulting mechanical response produces particular tissue forms-a point underscored by the ability of computer simulations of tissue mechanics to reproduce such morphogenetic events.

Journal details

Volume 144
Issue number Part A
Pages 23-32
Publication date

Crick labs/facilities