Uncoupling gastrulation and mesoderm differentiation in the Drosophila embryo.

In Drosophila, ventral furrow formation and mesoderm differentiation are initiated by two regulatory genes, twist (twi) and snail (sna). Both genes are evolutionarily conserved and have also been implicated in vertebrate gastrulation. Evidence is presented that sna is sufficient to initiate the invagination of the ventral-most embryonic cells in the absence… (More)