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Multiple cell interactions are required for fate specification during male spicule development in Caenorhabditis elegans

Chamberlin, Helen M. and Sternberg, Paul W. (1993) Multiple cell interactions are required for fate specification during male spicule development in Caenorhabditis elegans. Development, 118 (2). pp. 297-324. ISSN 0950-1991.

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The B blast cell divides postembryonically in C. elegans males to produce 47 progeny that include all of the cells of the copulatory spicules. During the early development of the B lineage, the anterior daughter of B, B.a, generates eight cells. These cells migrate to form four pairs of cells that flank the developing cloaca (ventral, dorsal, and two identical lateral pairs). For each pair, the more anterior cell produces a distinct lineage ('anterior fate') from the posterior cell ('posterior fate'). For the ventral and dorsal pairs, either cell can migrate to the anterior position and produce the anterior lineage, and the other cell migrates posterior and produces the posterior lineage (Sulston and Horvitz, 1977, Dev. Biol. 56, 110–156). The migration is variable, although the resultant fate pattern is invariant. In the two lateral pairs, both the migration and fate pattern are invariant. Using a laser microbeam to selectively ablate neighboring cells we have found that the cells of the lateral pair also respond to positional cues. For all four pairs other male-specific blast cells provide extracellular cues. In general, F and U promote anterior fates, Y promotes some posterior fates, and the B.a progeny promote posterior fates. Several of these cues are redundant. By ablating combinations of cells we have deduced how these signals may act in concert to specify the fates of the B.a progeny. We propose that fate specification in these pairs depends on three general classes of extracellular cues: positional cues, modulators of positional cues, and lateral signals. The B lineage thus provides an opportunity to study with single cell resolution the integration of multiple intercellular signals.

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Additional Information:© 1993 The Company of Biologists Limited. Accepted 10 March 1993. We thank Leon Avery, Eric Davidson, Scott Fraser, Andy Golden, Russell Hill, Linda Huang, Gregg Jongeward, Paul Kayne, Howard Lipshitz, and Anna Newman for comments on the manuscript, and Gladys Medina for technical assistance. CB1490 was provided by the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center. This research was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. H. M. C. was an NSF predoctoral fellow. P. W. S. is an investigator of HHMI.
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:C. elegans, cell lineage, cell interactions, cell fate specification, redundancy, pattern formation
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120229-094019491
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:29525
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Mar 2012 22:48
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 14:53

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