The fruitfly (drosophila) was and is the traditional geneticist's tool. It has been transformed to an magnificent tool for the embryologist, with many developmental mechanisms being uncovered in this system combined with homolgy gene searches in other species.
Scanning electron micrograph of wildtype and antennapedia mutant fly heads (Images Dr. Rudi Turner, More? see Hox Factors)
Heart Development Zmojdzian M, Da Ponte JP, Jagla K. Cellular components and signals required for the cardiac outflow tract assembly in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Feb 4;
"We previously reported that the final morphogenesis of the Drosophila heart involves a group of nonmesodermal cells called heart-anchoring cells and a pair of derived from the pharyngeal mesoderm cardiac outflow muscles." ...We also demonstrate that Slit and Robo are required for directed movements of heart-anchoring cells toward the heart tip and that the cell-cell contact between the heart-anchoring cells and the ladybird-expressing cardioblasts is critically dependent on DE-cadherin Shotgun."
Pereanu W, Hartenstein V. Digital three-dimensional models of Drosophila development. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Aug;14(4):382-91.
Taxonomy Id: 32346 Rank: species group
Genetic code: Translation table 1 (Standard) Mitochondrial genetic code: Translation table 5 Lineage( abbreviated ): Eukaryota; Metazoa; Arthropoda; Tracheata; Hexapoda; Insecta; Pterygota; Neoptera; Endopterygota; Diptera; Brachycera; Muscomorpha; Ephydroidea; Drosophilidae; Drosophila
These are reduced size images from the Interactive Fly Page, by clicking on the you can connect with the page which shows a series of scanning EM of early embryonic development. Alternatively the original reference is shown below on the Left
Dr. Rudi Turner provided the scanning electron microscope photographs.
Scanning electron microscopy of Drosophila melanogaster embryogenesis. III. Formation of the head and caudal segments. Turner, F.R. and Mahowald, A.P. (1979) Dev. Biol. 68: 96-109
This is the classic mutation that gave rise to the discovery of Hox genes and other genes related to body pattern formation. In this mutant during development the fly embryo incorrectly positioned where antenna should have be, two legs (pedia). The discovery of this mutant in Walter Gehring's lab opened up the field of developmental genes and this field has been rewarded (1995) with a Nobel prize in Medicine.
LEWIS, EDWARD B. , U.S.A., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, U.S.A., * 1918; NÜSSLEIN-VOLHARD, CHRISTIANE, Germany, Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen, Germany, * 1942; and WIESCHAUS, ERIC F., U.S.A., Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, U.S.A., * 1947: "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development"
There are a number of excellent internet resources for Fly development.
Flybase - A Database of the Drosophila Genome http://flybase.bio.indiana.edu/
The Interactive Fly - looks at genes and development http://www.sdbonline.org/fly/aimain/1aahome.htm
This site is very well organized and allows an exploration of the molecular mechanisms of development. Remember that this is where molecular mammalian embryology all started through homology.
Flybrain - An Online Atlas and Database of the Drosophila Nervous Systemhttp://flybrain.neurobio.arizona.edu/
FlyServer - A Drosophila Image Database and A Drosophila Multimedia Databasehttp://pbio07.uni-muenster.de/
Development of Drosophila - by Katherine Plewes, Becky Wong and Leon W. Browder http://www.ucalgary.ca/UofC/eduweb/virtualembryo/flies.html
BIO 114 Virtual Fly - lntroductory Biology Lab course at the WKU Glasgow extended campus http://bioweb.wku.edu/courses/Biol114/Vfly1.asp
Chapter 13A: Drosophila Development - Kenyon College http://biology.kenyon.edu/courses/biol114/Chap13/Chapter_13A.html
Note: The dynamic nature of the web means that some Links over time change, it the above links no longer function search the web using thefirst bold term.
Journal of Neurobiology
Molecular Biology of the Cell (4th Edn) Alberts, Bruce; Johnson, Alexander; Lewis, Julian; Raff, Martin; Roberts, Keith; Walter, Peter. New York: Garland Publishing; 2002.
Developmental Biology (6th Edn) Gilbert, Scott F. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates, Inc.; c2000.
Search Aug2005 "drosophila development" 13228 reference articles of which 1899 were reviews.
Search PubMed: term= drosophlila+development