Coordinated Growth

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Science  04 Jul 2008:
Vol. 321, Issue 5885, pp. 16
DOI: 10.1126/science.321.5885.16a

Animal species display specific developmental stages and growth rates, with individual organs and whole animals attaining a characteristic shape and size. Considerable research on growth has been performed with holometabolous insects, such as the tobacco hornworm Manduca sexta, where adults emerge at a size determined by the end of the last larval stage. In these insect larvae, imaginal discs specify subsequent adult organs.

Using x-ray irradiation of Drosophila larvae, Stieper et al. examine size as it is regulated by imaginal disc growth. With a low dose of x-rays, the time to final pupariation increases but ultimate size is not affected; therefore, imaginal discs adjust metamorphosis time. In addition, critical size—the minimum size of larvae at which starvation does not delay metamorphosis—increases and pupariation is delayed when ribosomal protein S3 is disrupted by RNA interference methods. — BAP

Dev. Biol. 10.1016/j.ydbio.2008.05.556 (2008).

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