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Quantifying the Gurken morphogen gradient in Drosophila oogenesis

Goentoro, Lea A. and Reeves, Gregory T. and Kowal, Craig P. and Martinelli, Luigi and Schüpbach, Trudi and Shvartsman, Stanislav Y. (2006) Quantifying the Gurken morphogen gradient in Drosophila oogenesis. Developmental Cell, 11 (2). pp. 263-72. ISSN 1534-5807. PMCID PMC4091837. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2006.07.004.

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Quantitative information about the distribution of morphogens is crucial for understanding their effects on cell-fate determination, yet it is difficult to obtain through direct measurements. We have developed a parameter estimation approach for quantifying the spatial distribution of Gurken, a TGFα-like EGFR ligand that acts as a morphogen in Drosophila oogenesis. Modeling of Gurken/EGFR system shows that the shape of the Gurken gradient is controlled by a single dimensionless parameter, the Thiele modulus, which reflects the relative importance of ligand diffusion and degradation. By combining the model with genetic alterations of EGFR levels, we have estimated the value of the Thiele modulus in the wild-type egg chamber. This provides a direct characterization of the shape of the Gurken gradient and demonstrates how parameter estimation techniques can be used to quantify morphogen gradients in development.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Goentoro, Lea A.0000-0002-3904-0195
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier. Received 24 February 2006, Revised 1 June 2006, Accepted 13 July 2006, Available online 7 August 2006. Published: August 7, 2006. S.Y.S., T.S., and L.A.G. thank Sasha Berezhkovskii, Cyrill Muratov, Eric Wieschaus, Joe Duffy, Mark Lemmon, and Nir Yakoby for many helpful discussions during the course of this work; Gail Barcelo for help with making the pipe probe; Joe Goodhouse for help with imaging; and Jeremy Zartman and Matthieu Coppey for critical reading of the manuscript. The authors thank Joe Duffy and Alan Michelson for kindly providing strains and reagents used in this study. This work was supported by funds from the Burroughs-Wellcome Foundation to L.A.G.; funds from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and Searle Scholar Program to S.Y.S.; and funds from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to T.S.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Burroughs Welcome FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Searle Scholars ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC4091837
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150616-090525201
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Official Citation:Lea A. Goentoro, Gregory T. Reeves, Craig P. Kowal, Luigi Martinelli, Trudi Schüpbach, Stanislav Y. Shvartsman, Quantifying the Gurken Morphogen Gradient in Drosophila Oogenesis, Developmental Cell, Volume 11, Issue 2, August 2006, Pages 263-272, ISSN 1534-5807, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58277
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:16 Jun 2015 17:58
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 22:02

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