Left–right asymmetry in the alimentary canal of the Drosophila embryo

Authors

  • Makoto Hayashi,

    1. Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Higashiyama, Okazaki, Aichi 444-8787, Japan,
    2. Department of Basic Biology, School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan,
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Hikomaru Aono,

    1. Senior High School at Komaba, University of Tsukuba, Ikejiri, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0001, Japan and
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Junichi Ishihara,

    1. Senior High School at Komaba, University of Tsukuba, Ikejiri, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0001, Japan and
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Sadaaki Oshima,

    1. Senior High School at Komaba, University of Tsukuba, Ikejiri, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0001, Japan and
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Hideaki Yamamoto,

    1. Senior High School at Komaba, University of Tsukuba, Ikejiri, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0001, Japan and
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Yu-ichi Nakazato,

    1. Senior High School at Komaba, University of Tsukuba, Ikejiri, Setagaya, Tokyo 154-0001, Japan and
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  • Satoru Kobayashi

    Corresponding author
    1. Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Higashiyama, Okazaki, Aichi 444-8787, Japan,
    2. Department of Basic Biology, School of Life Science, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan,
    3. Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Japan Science and Technology Agency, Japan
      *Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: skob@nibb.ac.jp
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*Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email: skob@nibb.ac.jp

Abstract

In many animal groups, left–right (LR) asymmetry within the body is observed. The left and right sides of the body are generally defined with reference to the anterior–posterior (AP) and dorsal–ventral (DV) axes. In this study, we investigated whether LR asymmetry is solely dependent on the AP and DV polarities in Drosophila embryos. We focused on the proventriculus, a posterior part of the foregut, and the hindgut because LR asymmetry in these body parts is highly stable in normal embryos. In embryos with a fully reversed AP polarity, LR asymmetry in both the proventriculus and the hindgut was re-oriented in relation to the reversed AP polarity. This demonstrates that inversion of AP polarity does not affect LR asymmetry of these tissues, and implies that LR asymmetry is specified in relation to the AP and DV polarities. Our findings were not consistent with the alternative hypothesis that LR asymmetry is predetermined by maternal signals that localize asymmetrically along the LR axis in the oocyte and/or early embryo.

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