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Gene expression following induction of regeneration in Drosophila wing imaginal discs. Expression profile of regenerating wing discs

Enrique Blanco3, Marina Ruiz-Romero3, Sergi Beltran13, Manel Bosch13, Adrià Punset23, Florenci Serras3 and Montserrat Corominas3*

Author Affiliations

1 Serveis Científico-Tècnics de la Universitat de Barcelona (SCT-UB), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

2 Fibran SA, Sant Joan de les Abadesses, Catalonia, Spain

3 Departament de Genètica, and Institut de Biomedicina de la Universitat de Barcelona (IBUB), Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

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BMC Developmental Biology 2010, 10:94  doi:10.1186/1471-213X-10-94

Published: 2 September 2010



Regeneration is the ability of an organism to rebuild a body part that has been damaged or amputated, and can be studied at the molecular level using model organisms. Drosophila imaginal discs, which are the larval primordia of adult cuticular structures, are capable of undergoing regenerative growth after transplantation and in vivo culture into the adult abdomen.


Using expression profile analyses, we studied the regenerative behaviour of wing discs at 0, 24 and 72 hours after fragmentation and implantation into adult females. Based on expression level, we generated a catalogue of genes with putative role in wing disc regeneration, identifying four classes: 1) genes with differential expression within the first 24 hours; 2) genes with differential expression between 24 and 72 hours; 3) genes that changed significantly in expression levels between the two time periods; 4) genes with a sustained increase or decrease in their expression levels throughout regeneration. Among these genes, we identified members of the JNK and Notch signalling pathways and chromatin regulators. Through computational analysis, we recognized putative binding sites for transcription factors downstream of these pathways that are conserved in multiple Drosophilids, indicating a potential relationship between members of the different gene classes. Experimental data from genetic mutants provide evidence of a requirement of selected genes in wing disc regeneration.


We have been able to distinguish various classes of genes involved in early and late steps of the regeneration process. Our data suggests the integration of signalling pathways in the promoters of regulated genes.