bullwinkle is required for epithelial morphogenesis during Drosophila oogenesis

Dev Biol. 2004 Mar 15;267(2):320-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2003.10.020.


Many organs, such as the liver, neural tube, and lung, form by the precise remodeling of flat epithelial sheets into tubes. Here we investigate epithelial tubulogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster by examining the development of the dorsal respiratory appendages of the eggshell. We employ a culture system that permits confocal analysis of stage 10-14 egg chambers. Time-lapse imaging of GFP-Moesin-expressing egg chambers reveals three phases of morphogenesis: tube formation, anterior extension, and paddle maturation. The dorsal-appendage-forming cells, previously thought to represent a single cell fate, consist of two subpopulations, those forming the tube roof and those forming the tube floor. These two cell types exhibit distinct morphological and molecular features. Roof-forming cells constrict apically and express high levels of Broad protein. Floor cells lack Broad, express the rhomboid-lacZ marker, and form the floor by directed cell elongation. We examine the morphogenetic phenotype of the bullwinkle (bwk) mutant and identify defects in both roof and floor formation. Dorsal appendage formation is an excellent system in which cell biological, molecular, and genetic tools facilitate the study of epithelial morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Epithelium / embryology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Morphogenesis
  • Oogenesis / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • BWK protein, Drosophila
  • Br protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • moesin, Drosophila
  • beta-Galactosidase