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Morphogen gradients contribute to pattern formation by determining positional information in morphogenetic fields. Interpretation of positional information is thought to rely on direct, concentration-threshold-dependent mechanisms for establishing multiple differential domains of target gene expression. In Drosophila, maternal gradients establish the(More)
Genetic studies have revealed that segment determination in Drosophila melanogaster is based on hierarchical regulatory interactions among maternal coordinate and zygotic segmentation genes. The gap gene system constitutes the most upstream zygotic layer of this regulatory hierarchy, responsible for the initial interpretation of positional information(More)
A fundamental problem in functional genomics is to determine the structure and dynamics of genetic networks based on expression data. We describe a new strategy for solving this problem and apply it to recently published data on early Drosophila melanogaster development. Our method is orders of magnitude faster than current fitting methods and allows us to(More)
The early embryo of Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful model system to study the role of genes in pattern formation. The gap gene network constitutes the first zygotic regulatory tier in the hierarchy of the segmentation genes involved in specifying the position of body segments. Here, we use an integrative, systems-level approach to investigate(More)
Model organisms, such as Drosophila melanogaster, provide powerful experimental tools for the study of development. However, approaches using model systems need to be complemented by comparative studies for us to gain a deeper understanding of the functional properties and evolution of developmental processes. New model organisms need to be established to(More)
BACKGROUND Mathematical modeling of real-life processes often requires the estimation of unknown parameters. Once the parameters are found by means of optimization, it is important to assess the quality of the parameter estimates, especially if parameter values are used to draw biological conclusions from the model. RESULTS In this paper we describe how(More)
Morphogenetic fields are among the most fundamental concepts of embryology. However, they are also among the most ill-defined, since they consist of dynamic regulatory processes whose exact nature remains elusive. In order to achieve a more rigorous definition of a developmental field, Lewis Wolpert introduced the concept of positional information(More)
We describe an automated high-throughput method to measure protein levels in single nuclei in blastoderm embryos of Drosophila melanogaster by means of immunofluorescence. The method consists of a chain of specific algorithms assembled into an image processing pipeline. This pipeline transforms a confocal scan of an embryo stained with fluorescently tagged(More)