Trudi Schupbach: Control of Embryonic Axis Formation in Drosophila

I. Axes Formation in the Drosophila Egg
II. grk RNA Localization
III. Gurken Gradient and Follicle Cell Response

Part III: Gurken Gradient and Follicle Cell Response

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Lecture Overview
How do complex multicellular organisms develop from single celled eggs with a single nucleus? We study this question in the fruitfly, Drosophila. In these insects, as in many other organisms, the major body plan is predetermined during oogenesis, or egg development. In the first part of the lecture, I will give an introduction to oogenesis in Drosophila, and the techniques we use to find genes that are responsible for determining the major axes of the egg and embryo. Interestingly, our analysis revealed that this process requires cell to cell communication between the oocyte and the surrounding follicle cells. It involves a signaling molecule, Gurken, which provides a localized signal from the oocyte to the follicle cells and ultimately sets up both the anterior-posterior as well as the dorso-ventral axis of the egg.  More >>

Speaker Bio
Trudi Schupbach is Professor of Molecular Biology at Princeton University and a Howard Hughes Investigator. She grew up in Switzerland, and did her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Zurich studying the development of the genital disc and sex determination in the germline of Drosophila. She moved to Princeton as a research associate in 1981, where she began her work on the study of axis formation and cell to cell signaling during Drosophila oogenesis.
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