Tissue Damage Disrupts Developmental Progression and Ecdysteroid Biosynthesis in Drosophila

Jennifer Hackney Price, Omid Zolali-Meybodi, Peter Cherbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In humans, chronic inflammation, severe injury, infection and disease can result in changes in steroid hormone titers and delayed onset of puberty; however the pathway by which this occurs remains largely unknown. Similarly, in insects injury to specific tissues can result in a global developmental delay (e.g. prolonged larval/pupal stages) often associated with decreased levels of ecdysone - a steroid hormone that regulates developmental transitions in insects. We use Drosophila melanogaster as a model to examine the pathway by which tissue injury disrupts developmental progression. Imaginal disc damage inflicted early in larval development triggers developmental delays while the effects are minimized in older larvae. We find that the switch in injury response (e.g. delay/no delay) is coincident with the mid-3rd instar transition - a developmental time-point that is characterized by widespread changes in gene expression and marks the initial steps of metamorphosis. Finally, we show that developmental delays induced by tissue damage are associated with decreased expression of genes involved in ecdysteroid synthesis and signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere49105
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 13 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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