Cell determination boundaries as organizing regions for secondary embryonic fields

Dev Biol. 1983 Apr;96(2):375-85. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(83)90175-6.


A model is proposed for pattern formation in secondary embryonic fields. It is stipulated that the boundaries, resulting from the primary embryonic organization of a developing organism, act as organizing regions for secondary embryonic fields, e.g., imaginal discs in insects. This boundary mechanism would allow very reliable pattern formation in the course of development: Primary positional information leads to cells of different determination, separated by sharp borders. At these borders, in turn, positional information would be generated for the next finer subdivision, and so on. This occurs if two or more differently determined cell types (e.g., compartments) cooperate for the production of a morphogenetic substance. A high concentration of the morphogen would appear at the common boundary of the cell types involved. Many experiments reported in the literature, for instance, the formation of duplicated and triplicated insect legs and the regeneration-duplication phenomenon of imaginal disc fragments can be explained under this assumption. The proposed boundary mechanism provides a molecularly feasible basis for the polar coordinate model.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Extremities / embryology
  • Insecta / embryology
  • Models, Biological*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mutation
  • Regeneration
  • Wings, Animal / embryology