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Keywords:

  • Drosophila;
  • salivary;
  • gland;
  • migration;
  • morphogenesis;
  • myoblast;
  • mesoderm;
  • tubulin;
  • organ;
  • epithelia

Abstract

The Drosophila embryonic salivary gland is an epithelial organ formed by the coordinated invagination and migration of primordial cells. To identify genes that regulate gland migration we performed a deficiency screen of the third chromosome. Here, we report on the analysis of the beta 2 tubulin isoform (β2t) that maps at 85D15. We show that, in β2t mutant embryos, salivary glands did not complete their posterior migration and that migration of fusion competent myoblasts and longitudinal visceral muscle founder cells between the gland and circular visceral mesoderm was delayed. We also demonstrate that gland migration defects correlate with reduced βPS and αPS2 integrin expression in the surrounding mesoderm and that β2t genetically interacts with genes encoding integrin αPS1 and αPS2 subunits. Our studies reveal for the first time that β2t is expressed in embryogenesis and that β2t plays an important role in salivary gland and myoblast migration, possibly through proper regulation of integrin adhesion proteins. Developmental Dynamics 238:853–863, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.