Tissue Patterning and Morphogenesis
The main interest of our laboratory is to understand mechanisms underlying cell fate determination by cell signaling. We focus on the conserved bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway and use fruit fly egg formation, oogenesis, as a model system.
The egg chamber (left) is the precursor of the mature egg (right). The oocyte is surrounded by a layer of follicle cells (FCs), which will derive the formation of the 3D intricate structures of the Drosophila eggshell.
Eggshell structures include the dorsal appendages (DAs) that are formed by two non-overlapping populations of cells. Cells expressing Rhomboid (Rho) form the future floor of the DAs, and cells expressing Broad (BR) form the future roof of the DAs.
We are interested in the evolution of BMP signaling dynamics across Drosophila species with different eggshell morphologies. In particular, we aim to understand whether the mechanism underlying BMP signaling dynamics in D. melanogaster is conserved in other Drosophila species.