Linking gene regulation to cell behaviors in the posterior growth zone of sequentially segmenting arthropods.
Notch signaling has been implicated in the segmentation of vertebrates but is not involved in segmentation in Drosophila. Recent evidence, however, implies that Notch signaling regulates segmentation in some Arthropods, including an insect, and that Notch signaling regulated segmentation in the common ancestor of Vertebrates and Arthropods. Notch signaling regulates clock-like formation of segments in both groups, a phenomenon not seen in Drosophila. We present evidence that Notch signaling components are expressed in a pattern implying a role in segmentation in honeybees, where the expression of genes involved in segmentation are modulated in a temporal way. Despite this, pharmacological investigation and RNA interference experiments indicate that Notch signaling does not regulate segmentation in honeybees, but instead regulates patterning within segments after segmentation itself has occurred. Notch signaling thus does not regulate segmentation in holometabolous insects, even when segments appear to form in anterior−posterior sequence.