TitleFly wing vein patterns have spatial reproducibility of a single cell.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsAbouchar, L, Petkova, MD, Steinhardt, CR, Gregor, T
JournalJ R Soc Interface
Date Published2014 Aug 6
KeywordsAnimals, Body Patterning, Cell Enlargement, Computer Simulation, Drosophila, Models, Anatomic, Models, Cardiovascular, Models, Statistical, Sensitivity and Specificity, Veins, Wing

Developmental processes in multicellular organisms occur in fluctuating environments and are prone to noise, yet they produce complex patterns with astonishing reproducibility. We measure the left-right and inter-individual precision of bilaterally symmetric fly wings across the natural range of genetic and environmental conditions and find that wing vein patterns are specified with identical spatial precision and are reproducible to within a single-cell width. The early fly embryo operates at a similar degree of reproducibility, suggesting that the overall spatial precision of morphogenesis in Drosophila performs at the single-cell level. Could development be operating at the physical limit of what a biological system can achieve?

Alternate JournalJ R Soc Interface