Dynamics of changes in apical cell area during sex comb rotation in Drosophila melanogaster

MicroPubl Biol. 2022 Dec 13:2022:10.17912/micropub.biology.000668. doi: 10.17912/micropub.biology.000668. eCollection 2022.


Epithelia are highly dynamic tissues displaying various types of tissue rearrangements (Weliky and Oster, 1990; Taylor and Adler, 2008; Harris and Tepass, 2010; Lee et al. , 2013; Firmino et al. , 2016; Rupprecht et al. , 2017). Here, we describe the dynamics of changes in apical cell area (ACA) in an epithelial system displaying tissue rearrangement resulting in sex comb rotation on the forelegs of male Drosophila melanogaster . The sex comb is a row of leg bristles which rotates during morphogenesis (Atallah, 2008; Atallah et al. , 2009; Malagon, 2013). We quantified the ACA in the region proximal to the developing sex comb by tracing apical cell boundaries using ImageJ in pupal first leg imaginal discs. We found that cells display intricate irregular oscillations in size as the comb rotates. However, the net changes in ACA within most of the cells studied are subtle, only 0 to +/-15%. Our current working hypothesis suggests these irregular oscillations confer flexibility during tissue rearrangement and can be an important mechanism for tissue homeostasis.