The Wg and Dpp morphogens regulate gene expression by modulating the frequency of transcriptional bursts.
IF: 8.713
Cited by: 7


Morphogen signaling contributes to the patterned spatiotemporal expression of genes during development. One mode of regulation of signaling-responsive genes is at the level of transcription. Single-cell quantitative studies of transcription have revealed that transcription occurs intermittently, in bursts. Although the effects of many gene regulatory mechanisms on transcriptional bursting have been studied, it remains unclear how morphogen gradients affect this dynamic property of downstream genes. Here we have adapted single molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) for use in the Drosophila wing imaginal disc in order to measure nascent and mature mRNA of genes downstream of the Wg and Dpp morphogen gradients. We compared our experimental results with predictions from stochastic models of transcription, which indicated that the transcription levels of these genes appear to share a common method of control via burst frequency modulation. Our data help further elucidate the link between developmental gene regulatory mechanisms and transcriptional bursting.


Temporal Gene Expression
D. melanogaster
burst frequency
developmental biology
wing disc

MeSH terms

Drosophila Proteins
Drosophila melanogaster
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
Imaginal Discs
In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
RNA, Messenger
Signal Transduction
Single Molecule Imaging
Transcriptional Activation
Wings, Animal
Wnt1 Protein


Bakker, Rachael
Mani, Madhav
Carthew, Richard W

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