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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Wnt6 is required for maxillary palp formation in Drosophila

Nikolaos Doumpas1, Gáspár Jékely2 and Aurelio A Teleman1*

Author affiliations

1 German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany

2 Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstrasse 35, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany

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Citation and License

BMC Biology 2013, 11:104  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-11-104

An erratum was published for this article. It is available at the following link;

Published: 3 October 2013



Wnt6 is an evolutionarily ancient member of the Wnt family. In Drosophila, Wnt6 loss-of-function animals have not yet been reported, hence information about fly Wnt6 function is lacking. In wing discs, Wnt6 is expressed at the dorsal/ventral boundary in a pattern similar to that of wingless, an important regulator of wing size. To test whether Wnt6 also contributes towards wing size regulation, we generated Wnt6 knockout flies.


Wnt6 knockout flies are viable and have no obvious defect in wing size or planar cell polarity. Surprisingly, Wnt6 knockouts lack maxillary palps. Interestingly, Wnt6 is absent from the genome of hemipterans, correlating with the absence of maxillary palps in these insects.


Wnt6 is important for maxillary palp development in Drosophila, and phylogenetic analysis indicates that loss of Wnt6 may also have led to loss of maxillary palps on an evolutionary time scale.

Drosophila; Wnt6; Maxillary palps