Student Theses and Dissertations

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CIS-regulation, Drosophila melanogaster, segmentation hierarchy, pair rule hierarchy


In few systems is it possible to analyze the global cis-regulatory structure of developmental transcription networks. One system where this is in principle possible is segmentation in Drosophila melanogaster, although to date such an undertaking has not been attempted. Here using computational algorithms to analyze the transcriptional regulatory regions of genes of the gap and pair rule classes such an analysis is carried out. Computational analysis, transgenic reporter element assays, site directed mutagenesis, genetics, and time courses of in situ hybridizations of central genes in carefully staged embryos are combined to understand how the cis-elements function together to achieve patterning of the anterior posterior axis. The transition from the non-periodic gap patterns to the seven striped periodic patterns of the pair rule genes is analyzed in detail. This step in the genetic hierarchy is of particular interest as it generates the segmental pattern that underlies the Drosophila body plan. The analysis clarifies the primary and secondary pair rule classification system and suggests certain organizational principles in pair rule cis-regulation.


A thesis presented to the faculty of The Rockefeller University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

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