High Bicoid levels render the terminal system dispensable for Drosophila head development

V. Schaeffer, D. Killian, C. Desplan, E. A. Wimmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Drosophila, the gradient of the Bicoid (Bcd) morphogen organizes the anteroposterior axis while the ends of the embryo are patterned by the maternal terminal system. At the posterior pole, expression of terminal gap genes is mediated by the local activation of the Torso receptor tyrosine kinase (Tor). At the anterior, terminal gap genes are also activated by the Tor pathway but Bcd contributes to their activation. Here we present evidence that Tor and Bcd act independently on common target genes in an additive manner. Furthermore, we show that the terminal maternal system is not required for proper head development, since high levels of Bcd activity can functionally rescue the lack of terminal system activity at the anterior pole. This observation is consistent with a recent evolution of an anterior morphogenetic center consisting of Bcd and anterior Tor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3993-3999
Number of pages7
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2000


  • Bicoid
  • Drosophila
  • Morphogen
  • Patterning
  • Terminal system
  • Torso

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'High Bicoid levels render the terminal system dispensable for Drosophila head development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this