Single cell transcriptomic landscapes of pattern formation, proliferation and growth in Drosophila wing imaginal discs

Development. 2019 Sep 20;146(18):dev179754. doi: 10.1242/dev.179754.


Organ formation relies on the orchestration of pattern formation, proliferation and growth during development. How these processes are integrated at the individual cell level remains unclear. In the past decades, studies using Drosophila wing imaginal discs as a model system have provided valuable insights into pattern formation, growth control and regeneration. Here, we provide single cell transcriptomic landscapes of pattern formation, proliferation and growth of wing imaginal discs. We found that patterning information is robustly maintained in the single cell transcriptomic data and can provide reference matrices for computationally mapping single cells into discrete spatial domains. Assignment of wing disc single cells to spatial subregions facilitates examination of patterning refinement processes. We also clustered single cells into different proliferation and growth states and evaluated the correlation between cell proliferation/growth states and spatial patterning. Furthermore, single cell transcriptomic analyses allowed us to quantitatively examine disturbances of differentiation, proliferation and growth in a well-established tumor model. We provide a database to explore these datasets at article has an associated 'The people behind the papers' interview.

Keywords: Drosophila; Pattern formation; Scribble; Wing imaginal discs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Imaginal Discs / cytology*
  • Imaginal Discs / growth & development*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • Transcriptome / genetics*
  • Wings, Animal / growth & development*