Expression and function of scalloped during Drosophila development

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Abstract

Background: The scalloped (sd) and vestigial (vg) genes function together in Drosophila wing development. Little is known about sd protein (SD) expression during development, or whether sd and vg interact in other developing tissues. To begin to address these questions, we generated an anti-SD antibody. Results: During embryogenesis, SD is expressed in both central and peripheral nervous systems, and the musculature. SD is also expressed in developing flight appendages. Despite SD expression herein, the peripheral nervous system, musculature, and dorsal limb primordia appeared generally normal in the absence of sd function. SD is also expressed in subsets of ventral nerve cord cells, including neuroblast 1–2 descendants and ventral unpaired median motor neurons (mVUMs). While sd function is not required to specify these neurons, it is necessary for the correct innervation of somatic muscles by the mVUMs. We also show that SD and vg protein (VG) are co-expressed in overlapping and distinctive subsets of cells in embryonic and larval tissues. Conclusions: We describe the full breadth of SD expression during Drosophila embryogenesis, and identify a requirement for sd function in a subset of motor neurons. This work provides the necessary foundation for functional studies regarding the roles of sd during Drosophila development. Developmental Dynamics 242:874–885, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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