Neha Gogia, Katie Marie Perry, Akanksha Raj



Download Project (246.0 MB)


An interesting question in developmental biology is how any three dimensional organ develops from a single monolayer sheet of cells. Organogenesis in multicellular organisms requires an important process of axial patterning which marks the development of Antero-Posterior (AP), Dorso-Ventral (DV) and Proximo-Distal (PD) axes. Out of these axes, Dorso-Ventral (DV) patterning marks first lineage restriction event and any disturbance during these axes development leads to defective organ/s formation. In our research we have studied how cell signaling mechanisms interacts with cell fate specification genes and forms eye as an organ. We have used, Drosophila melanogaster (a.k.a fruit fly) as our model organism and Drosophila eye as our model organ (as the genetic machinery is conserved between fruit flies to humans, and any insights generated here can be extrapolated to humans). Previous data from our lab confirms defective proventriculus (dve-a Homeobox gene), an ortholog of SATB homeobox 1 (special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1, in humans), acts as a new member of DV patterning gene hierarchy. In this research, we present that, DV patterning gene (dve), interacts with Dpp signaling. Our results using Gain-of-function (GOF) studies confirms that upregulation of the levels of Dpp signaling by misexpression of decapentaplegic (dpp) and mother against dpp (mad) in dve expression domain results in downregulation of wingless and dramatic eye enlargements. In contrast, downregulation of Dpp signaling by misexpression of brinker ( brk), an antagonist of Dpp signaling in Drosophila, in dve expression domain leads to ectopic induction of wingless in posterior domain of eye and eye suppression or reduced eye phenotypes. In future, we will test if these eye phenotypes are a result of the change of cell fate or due to induction of developmental cell death. To address this, we will test what happens to retinal determination and cell death markers in this background. This study may have a significant bearing on growth, signaling and patterning defects and helps to understand the etiology behind genetic birth defects in the eye.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Honors Thesis

Primary Advisor

Madhuri Kango-Singh, Amit Singh

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Interaction between axial patterning gene (dve) and Dpp signaling during eye development in Drosophila