Undergraduate research reveals how growth is coordinated among developing organs
Undergraduates in the Shingleton laboratory have revealed how growth in developing animals is coordinated among organs and with the body as a whole. The research is published in Developmental Biology and hightlighted as an Editor's Choice, in Science magazine.
MSU students Brad Steiper, Mania Kupershtok, and Michael Driscoll, working in Alexander Shingleton's laboratory, slowed the growth of an individual organ in a developing fruit fly. They found that the rest of the body delayed development, apparently waiting for the slow growing organ to "catch up".
The result was that the fly ended up the correct size, despite taking a lot longer to mature.
This is the first example of this kind of organ-organ coordination in an animal, and has important implications for our understanding of how the body and organ size is regulated.