Cell lineage of the thoracic muscles of Drosophila

Cell. 1982 Jun;29(2):493-503. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(82)90166-0.


The thorax of the adult Drosophila contains about 80 muscles, which develop from the mesoderm. A new genetic marker was used to map the cell lineage of the myoblasts that form these muscles. Clones of marked cells were produced by irradiation of embryos and larvae, and these were detected in the adult by histochemical staining. The principal findings are that the muscles of each segment have separate origins, and that each becomes compartmented precisely into a dorsal-lineage and a ventral-lineage set of muscles, each set probably being formed by the adepithelial cells found in one imaginal disc. In contrast with the epidermis, the muscles of each thoracic segment are not subdivided into anterior and posterior compartments, and clones of muscle cells that are homozygous for recessive-lethal alleles of engrailed develop normally.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastoderm / radiation effects
  • Cell Count
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Muscles / embryology
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Succinate Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Thorax / embryology
  • Thorax / growth & development


  • Succinate Dehydrogenase