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The trishanku gene and terminal morphogenesis in Dictyostelium discoideum

Mujumdar, Nameeta and Inouye, Kei and Nanjundiah, Vidyanand (2009) The trishanku gene and terminal morphogenesis in Dictyostelium discoideum. In: Evolution and Development, 11 (6). pp. 697-709.

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Official URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/1226655...


P>Multicellular development in the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is triggered by starvation. It involves a series of morphogenetic movements, among them being the rising of the spore mass to the tip of the stalk. The process requires precise coordination between two distinct cell types-presumptive (pre-) spore cells and presumptive (pre-) stalk cells. Trishanku (triA) is a gene expressed in prespore cells that is required for normal morphogenesis. The triA- mutant shows pleiotropic effects that include an inability of the spore mass to go all the way to the top. We have examined the cellular behavior required for the normal ascent of the spore mass. Grafting and mixing experiments carried out with tissue fragments and cells show that the upper cup, a tissue that derives from prestalk cells and anterior-like cells (ALCs), does not develop properly in a triA- background. A mutant upper cup is unable to lift the spore mass to the top of the fruiting body, likely due to defective intercellular adhesion. If wild-type upper cup function is provided by prestalk and ALCs, trishanku spores ascend all the way. Conversely, Ax2 spores fail to do so in chimeras in which the upper cup is largely made up of mutant cells. Besides proving that under these conditions the wild-type phenotype of the upper cup is necessary and sufficient for terminal morphogenesis in D. discoideum, this study provides novel insights into developmental and evolutionary aspects of morphogenesis in general. Genes that are active exclusively in one cell type can elicit behavior in a second cell type that enhances the reproductive fitness of the first cell type, thereby showing that morphogenesis is a cooperative process.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Evolution and Development
Publisher: Wiley
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Wiley.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2009 09:20
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/24989

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