Interaction Between Torso and Dorsal, Two Elements of Different Transduction Pathways in the Drosophila Embryo

Mech Dev. 1991 Dec;36(1-2):41-5. doi: 10.1016/0925-4773(91)90070-m.


Early development of the Drosophila embryo is under the control of some maternal genes responsible for the establishment of its general pattern. Three sets of genes determine the anteroposterior pattern; two distinct systems specify anterior and posterior development and a third one, the terminal system, is responsible for the development of the poles of the embryo. A different set of genes specifies dorsoventral polarity, which is established by the graded activity of the dorsal gene product. Here I analyze the effect of the terminal system on the expression of two zygotic genes involved in dorsoventral pattern, snail and decapentaplegic, and I show that this effect is mediated by a reduction on dorsal activity by the terminal system. Due to the interaction of these two systems, both of which use transmembrane signalling mechanisms, the poles adopt a more dorsalized fate than their counterparts in the middle of the embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Female
  • Insect Hormones / genetics
  • Insect Hormones / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Phosphoproteins*
  • Signal Transduction* / physiology
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • dl protein, Drosophila
  • dpp protein, Drosophila