Jordan W. Raff Introduction
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been a popular organism for developmental biologists for more than 100 years. The enormous power of fly genetics has made it possible to identify many of the most important proteins that orchestrate the development of an animal from a fertilized egg. More recently, the combination of genetics, biochemistry, and time-lapse microscopy in living embryos has made Drosophila an attractive system to study fundamental problems in cell biology. In this chapter, I first review the Drosophila life cycle, highlighting the developmental stages that have been most useful for studying centrosome function. I then summarize what has been learned about centrosome structure and function in the fly. Finally, I discuss the lessons that Drosophila has taught us about how centrosomes and centrosomal proteins function within the context of a multicellular organism.
Centrosome and Microtubule Organisation during the Drosophila Life Cycle
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