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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)
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)
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)
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)
Kinetic modeling of developmental dynamics requires detailed knowledge about genetic and metabolic networks that underlie developmental processes. However, such knowledge is not available for a vast majority of developmental processes. Here, we present an coarse-grained, phenomenological model of periodic pattern formation in multicellular organisms based(More)
The segmentation gene network in insects can produce equivalent phenotypic outputs despite differences in upstream regulatory inputs between species. We investigate the mechanistic basis of this phenomenon through a systems-level analysis of the gap gene network in the scuttle fly Megaselia abdita (Phoridae). It combines quantification of gene expression at(More)
Axis specification and segment determination in dipteran insects are an excellent model system for comparative analyses of gene network evolution. Antero-posterior polarity of the embryo is established through systems of maternal morphogen gradients. In Drosophila melanogaster, the anterior system acts through opposing gradients of Bicoid (Bcd) and Caudal(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)