Gene expression markers for Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cells
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The analysis of cell fate patterning during the vulval development of Caenorhabditis elegans has relied mostly on the direct observation of cell divisions and cell movements (cell lineage analysis). However, reconstruction of the developing vulva from EM serial sections has suggested seven different cell types (vulA, vulB1, vulB2, vulC, vulD, vulE, and vulF), many of which cannot be distinguished based on such observations. Here we report the vulval expression of seven genes, egl-17, cdh-3, ceh-2, zmp-1, B0034.1, T04B2.6 and F47B8.6 based on gfp, cfp and yfp (green fluorescent protein and color variants) reporter fusions. Each gene expresses in a specific subset of vulval cells, and is therefore useful as a marker for vulval cell fates. Together, expressions of markers distinguish six cell types, and reveal a strict temporal control of gene expression in the developing vulva.
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