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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)
Here we present a quantitative and predictive model of the transcriptional readout of the proximal 1.7 kb of the control region of the Drosophila melanogaster gene even skipped (eve). The model is based on the positions and sequence of individual binding sites on the DNA and quantitative, time-resolved expression data at cellular resolution. These data(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)
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)
Gap genes are involved in segment determination during the early development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as well as in other insects. This review attempts to synthesize the current knowledge of the gap gene network through a comprehensive survey of the experimental literature. I focus on genetic and molecular evidence, which provides us with an(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)
Positional specification by morphogen gradients is traditionally viewed as a two-step process. A gradient is formed and then interpreted, providing a spatial metric independent of the target tissue, similar to the concept of space in classical mechanics. However, the formation and interpretation of gradients are coupled, dynamic processes. We introduce a(More)
Pax6 genes encode transcription factors with two DNA-binding domains that are highly conserved during evolution. In Drosophila, two Pax6 genes function in a pathway in which twin of eyeless (toy) directly regulates eyeless (ey), which is necessary for initiating the eye developmental pathway. To investigate the gene duplication of Pax6 that occurred in(More)