Wing morphogenesis in Lepidoptera.
The wings of Lepidoptera develop from imaginal disks that are made up of a simple two-layered epithelium whose structure is always congruent with the final adult wing. It is therefore possible to map every point on the imaginal disk to a location on the adult wing throughout the period of growth and morphogenesis. The wings of different species of Lepidoptera differ greatly in both size and shape, yet it is possible to fate-map homologous locations on the developing wing disks and explicitly monitor the growth, size, and shape of the wing, or any of its regions, throughout the entire ontogeny of the wing. The wing achieves its final form through spatially patterned cell divisions, oriented cell divisions, physical constraints on directional growth by an actin network between the wing veins, and by patterned cell death. Each of these factors contributes differently to morphogenesis and to the development of species-specific differences in wing shape. The final shape of the wing is sculpted out of the much larger imaginal disk by a pattern of programmed cell death that removes all cells distal to the bordering lacuna, and is responsible for the detailed outline of the wing.
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