Ecdysone coordinates plastic growth with robust pattern in the developing wing

Animals develop in unpredictable, variable environments. In response to environmental change, some aspects of development adjust to generate plastic phenotypes. Other aspects of development, however, are buffered against environmental change to produce robust phenotypes. How organ development is coordinated to accommodate both plastic and robust developmental responses is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the steroid hormone ecdysone coordinates both plasticity of organ size and robustness of organ pattern in the developing wings of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Using fed and starved larvae that lack prothoracic glands, which synthesize ecdysone, we show that nutrition regulates growth both via ecdysone and via an ecdysone-independent mechanism, while nutrition regulates patterning only via ecdysone. We then demonstrate that growth shows a graded response to ecdysone concentration, while patterning shows a threshold response. Collectively, these data support a model where nutritionally regulated ecdysone fluctuations confer plasticity by regulating disc growth in response to basal ecdysone levels and confer robustness by initiating patterning only once ecdysone peaks exceed a threshold concentration. This could represent a generalizable mechanism through which hormones coordinate plastic growth with robust patterning in the face of environmental change.Read more…

Animals develop in unpredictable, variable environments. In response to environmental change, some aspects of development adjust to generate plastic phenotypes. Other aspects of development, however, are buffered against environmental change to produce robust phenotypes. How organ development is coordinated to accommodate both plastic and robust developmental responses is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the steroid hormone ecdysone coordinates both plasticity of organ size and robustness of organ pattern in the developing wings of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Using fed and starved larvae that lack prothoracic glands, which synthesize ecdysone, we show that nutrition regulates growth both via ecdysone and via an ecdysone-independent mechanism, while nutrition regulates patterning only via ecdysone. We then demonstrate that growth shows a graded response to ecdysone concentration, while patterning shows a threshold response. Collectively, these data support a model where nutritionally regulated ecdysone fluctuations confer plasticity by regulating disc growth in response to basal ecdysone levels and confer robustness by initiating patterning only once ecdysone peaks exceed a threshold concentration. This could represent a generalizable mechanism through which hormones coordinate plastic growth with robust patterning in the face of environmental change.Read more…


Type Path Last modified Size Actions
Dockerfile 2 months, 2 weeks ago 181.0B
EcdysoneQuantifications.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 9.6KiB
PGX.starved.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 18.6KiB
PGX_E.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 68.2KiB
PGXdata.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 34.2KiB
PGXrescue.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 15.3KiB
Pattern_Size.csv 2 months, 2 weeks ago 120.1KiB
elife-72666.references.bib 2 months, 2 weeks ago 25.3KiB
elife-72666.rmd Main 2 months, 2 weeks ago 140.8KiB
elife-72666.xml 2 months, 2 weeks ago 194.4KiB
elife-72666.xml.media 2 months, 2 weeks ago 5.1MiB
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