Retinal development during the third larval instar of Drosophila Melanogaster

Tomlinson, Andrew (1984). Retinal development during the third larval instar of Drosophila Melanogaster. PhD thesis The Open University.



One of the major aims of the developmental biologist is to establish how a highly complex multicellular organism is derived from its unicellular zygotic origin. This thesis describes an investigation into the retinal development of Drosophila melanogaster during its third larval instar in an attempt to understand how the highly ordered and complex cellular constitution of the retina is established from a group of unorganised and undifferentiated cells.

The text is divided into six chapters. The first chapter is a review of the literature germane to the problem being investigated, and the second deals with the experimental methodology adopted. The remaining chapters relate the experimental findings and their implications to the problem under investigation.

Chapter Three describes the main body of the research, which consists of an electron microscopic serial section investigation of the developing retinal tissue, and the utilisation of computer graphic reconstruction techniques to give a comprehensive understanding of the three dimensional cellular arrangements.

The fourth chapter deals with autoradiographical studies which were undertaken to resolve an incongruity between a finding from the electron microscopic studies and an earlier literature report.

Chapter Five relates an investigation into the mutation sevenless which was performed in an attempt to both assess the value of knowledge acquired from the earlier investigations, and to understand the developmental failure that leads to this particular mutant phenotype.

The last chapter is a brief summary of how the retinal development during the third larval instar is better understood after the investigations described in this thesis.

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