The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 93–99

Quantification of growth asymmetries in developing epithelia

  • T. Bittig
  • O. Wartlick
  • M. González-Gaitán
  • F. Jülicher
Open AccessRegular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2009-10507-6

Cite this article as:
Bittig, T., Wartlick, O., González-Gaitán, M. et al. Eur. Phys. J. E (2009) 30: 93. doi:10.1140/epje/i2009-10507-6

Abstract

Many developmental processes of multicellular organisms involve the patterning and growth of two-dimensional tissues, so called epithelia. We have quantified the growth of the wing imaginal disk, which is the precursor of the adult wing, of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that growth follows a simple rule with exponentially decreasing area growth rate. Anisotropies of growth can be precisely determined by comparing experimental results to a continuum theory. Growth anisotropies are to good approximation constant in space and time. They are weak in wild-type wing disks but threefold increased in GFP-Dpp disks in which the morphogen Dpp is overexpressed. Our findings indicate that morphogens such as Dpp control tissue shape via oriented cell divisions that generate anisotropic growth.

PACS

87.18.Fx Multicellular phenomena, biofilms87.17.Ee Growth and division82.70.Gg Gels and sols
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© The Author(s) 2009

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Bittig
    • 1
  • O. Wartlick
    • 2
  • M. González-Gaitán
    • 2
  • F. Jülicher
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex SystemsDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Department of Molecular BiologyGeneva University, Sciences IIGeneva 4Switzerland