Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IPM TECHNOLOGIES FOR SUBTROPICAL INSECT PESTS

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Book review: Imaginal discs: the genetic and cellular logic of pattern formation

Author
item LAPOINTE, STEPHEN

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2006
Publication Date: November 1, 2006
Citation: Lapointe, S.L. 2006. Book review: Imaginal discs: the genetic and cellular logic of pattern formation. Florida Entomologist 89:425.

Interpretive Summary: Imaginal discs, of which there are 19 in the grub of Drosophila melanogaster, are hollow sacs of cells that are responsible for forming adult cuticular structures during metamorphosis, including bristles, compound eyes, wings, legs, etc. Imaginal discs have been used to study the genetic mechanisms that guide cell differentiation and their ultimate fate within the developing organism. Lewis I. Held, Associate Professor of Developmental Genetics at Texas Tech University, has done an admirable job of summarizing the work of a multitude of researchers over decades to decipher the genetic code of the fruit fly, laying out the various conundrums that have been generated by this research, and tracing the evolution of scientific thought and insight. This is not a primer but rather an attempt to tackle the higher order questions of pattern formation, intercellular signaling, and cell lineage. As the author notes in his preface, the book seeks to “…understand cellular “epistemology” (what do cells know?) and “psychology” (how do they think?).” This work is an excellent reference for those entering the field, and for those already knee-deep in research on imaginal discs.

Technical Abstract: Imaginal discs, of which there are 19 in the grub of Drosophila melanogaster, are hollow sacs of cells that are responsible for forming adult cuticular structures during metamorphosis, including bristles, compound eyes, wings, legs, etc. Imaginal discs have been used to study the genetic mechanisms that guide cell differentiation and their ultimate fate within the developing organism. Lewis I. Held, Associate Professor of Developmental Genetics at Texas Tech University, has done an admirable job of summarizing the work of a multitude of researchers over decades to decipher the genetic code of the fruit fly, laying out the various conundrums that have been generated by this research, and tracing the evolution of scientific thought and insight. This is not a primer but rather an attempt to tackle the higher order questions of pattern formation, intercellular signaling, and cell lineage. As the author notes in his preface, the book seeks to “…understand cellular “epistemology” (what do cells know?) and “psychology” (how do they think?).” This work is an excellent reference for those entering the field, and for those already knee-deep in research on imaginal discs.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page