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Presenting Author(s) Jeff Francis
Abstract Title The role of Tondu in vertebrate limb development.
Full author List Jeff Francis and Malcolm Logan
Text of abstract

Comparative studies of Drosophila genes and their vertebrate homologues have shown that they can play analogous roles during embryonic development. Good examples are found during the development of the Drosophila wing, which can be considered analogous to the vertebrate limbs. The Drosophila melanogaster genes vestigial and Notch are involved in wing morphogenesis. To investigate whether the vertebrate homologues (i.e. Tondu and Notch, respectively) are involved in vertebrate limb development, we are undertaking a gene misexpression approach in the chick and a gene deletion approach in the mouse.

In Drosophila, vestigial expressed in the wing field is regulated in two phases. Expression along the dorsoventral boundary is activated by the Notch and Wingless pathways. Later expression in the wing pouch is dependent on Decapentaplegic (Dpp) signalling pathway. Genetic studies in the fly have shown that vestigial function is not only necessary, but is also sufficient, for wing morphogenesis. We have isolated two chicken homologues of vestigial, cTondu1 and cTondu2. We have used the chick retroviral system to misexpress various forms of cTondu1 in the developing chick wing.
Which session is your work most relevant to: Limb patterning