Requirements for hedgehog, a segmental polarity gene, in patterning larval and adult cuticle of Drosophila.
J Mohler


Mutations of the hedgehog gene are generally embryonic lethal, resulting in a lawn of denticles on the ventral surface. In strong alleles, no segmentation is obvious and the anteroposterior polarity of ventral denticles is lost. Temperature shift analysis of a temperature-sensitive allele indicates an embryonic activity period for hedgehog between 2.5 and 6 hr of embryonic development (at 25 degrees) and a larval/pupal period from 4 to 7 days of development (at 25 degrees). Mosaic analysis of hedgehog mutations in the adult cuticle indicates a series of defined defects associated with the failure of appropriate hedgehog expression. In particular, defects in the distal portions of the legs and antenna occur in association with homozygous hedgehog clones in the posterior compartment of those structures. Because the defects are associated with homozygous clones, but are not co-extensive, a type of "domineering" nonautonomy is proposed for the activity of the hedgehog gene.