Eric Wieschaus: Finding Genes that Control Development

Eric Wieschaus and Christiane Nusslein-Volhard wanted to understand which genes regulated embryonic development in Drosophila. It took them 2 years to design their experiment and only a few months to execute. A combination of good design and good luck allowed them to start with 40,000 flies and identify just 139 genes necessary for embryonic development.

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Research Paper Discussed in this Talk

Nüsslein-Volhard C, Wieschaus E. Mutations affecting segment number and polarity in Drosophila. Nature. 1980 Oct 30;287(5785):795-801.

Nüsslein-Volhard, C, E Wieschaus, H Kluding. 1984. Mutations affecting the pattern of the larval cuticle in Drosophila melanogaster. Wilhelm Roux's archives of developmental biology 193:267-282.

Educator Resources (Educators only)

These questions and answers were designed to link the iBiology video to the research paper and for use as a classroom activity.

Prepared by Dr. Gabrielle Miller-Messner.

Questions and answers for this talk and related paper >>

About the Speaker

Dr. Wieschaus is a Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Wieschaus and Nusslein-Volhard (together with E.B. Lewis) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1995 for the experiments he describes in his talk. His lab continues to study embryonic development using Drosophila as a model system.

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