WingX: Systems Biology of the Drosophila Wing

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Some people of our group are part of the Swiss WingX project. The goal of this project is to generate quantitative datasets that serve as input for multi-scale modeling approaches of wing development and morphogenesis. These models will make experimentally testable predictions on the biophysical properties and molecular regulatory circuits that control the basic size and shape of the wing. In our group, we will investigate among other things how (and how much!) robustness is achieved during wing imaginal disc patterning.


Introductory reading

  • Introduction to Systems Biology, Uri Alon
  • Developmental Biology, Gilbert

Recommended reading


  • Review on morphogens [1]
  • Review on Dpp gradient formation [2]
  • Dpp gradient formation with facilitated (restricted) external diffusion [3]
  • Wingless gradient formation [4] (see [5] for modeling)

Growth and size regulation

  • From the tissue perspective [6]


  1. Tabata T and Takei Y. Morphogens, their identification and regulation. Development 2004 Feb; 131(4) 703-12. doi:10.1242/dev.01043 pmid:14757636. PubMed HubMed [tabata]
  2. Affolter M and Basler K. The Decapentaplegic morphogen gradient: from pattern formation to growth regulation. Nat Rev Genet 2007 Sep; 8(9) 663-74. doi:10.1038/nrg2166 pmid:17703237. PubMed HubMed [affbasler]
  3. Belenkaya TY, Han C, Yan D, Opoka RJ, Khodoun M, Liu H, and Lin X. Drosophila Dpp morphogen movement is independent of dynamin-mediated endocytosis but regulated by the glypican members of heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Cell 2004 Oct 15; 119(2) 231-44. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2004.09.031 pmid:15479640. PubMed HubMed [belenkaya]
  4. Strigini M and Cohen SM. Wingless gradient formation in the Drosophila wing. Curr Biol 2000 Mar 23; 10(6) 293-300. pmid:10744972. PubMed HubMed [striginicohen]
  5. Hufnagel L, Kreuger J, Cohen SM, and Shraiman BI. On the role of glypicans in the process of morphogen gradient formation. Dev Biol 2006 Dec 15; 300(2) 512-22. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.08.076 pmid:17074313. PubMed HubMed [hufnagel]
  6. Aegerter-Wilmsen T, Aegerter CM, Hafen E, and Basler K. Model for the regulation of size in the wing imaginal disc of Drosophila. Mech Dev 2007 Apr; 124(4) 318-26. doi:10.1016/j.mod.2006.12.005 pmid:17293093. PubMed HubMed [aegerter]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed HubMed