Congratulations Alessio! you did it!
Nir Yakoby May 22, 2015

Congratulations Alessio for graduation with a BS degree in Biology and Chemistry. Good luck in the MS program!… Read More

Congratulations Alessio! Weissman Prize!
Nir Yakoby May 19, 2015

Congratulations Alessio¬†Russomanno for receiving the Gerald S. Weissman Memorial Prize in Biology for excellen… Read More

Congratulations Nicole!
Nir Yakoby March 12, 2015

Congratulations Nicole for passing the Qualifying Exam, job well done! Read More

Tissue Patterning and Morphogenesis

egg patterningThe main interest of our laboratory is to understand mechanisms underlying cell fate determination by cell signaling. We focus on the two highly conserved signaling pathways, the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), 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 derive the formation of the 3D intricate structures of the Drosophila eggshell.

Eggshell structures, such as the dorsal appendages (DAs), 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. Other structures include the operculum (Op – an opening for larvae hatching), and a micropyle (M – the point of sperm entry).

We are interested to study the evolution of BMP signaling dynamics across Drosophila species. In addition, we aim to understand how spatiotemporal changes in the activation of EGFR by the ligand Gurken derive the formation of morphological novelties on eggshells of numerous Drosophila species.


National Institute of Health  National Science Foundation