twist expression in the embryonic mesoderm of Drosophila declines during germ band retraction to leave a residual population of twist-expressing cells in the late embryo. In the abdomen, the pattern of twist expression is a simple one: a single cell ventrally, pairs of cells laterally and three cells dorsally in each hemisegment. In the thorax, there are patches of cells associated with the imaginal discs and there are additional clusters in A8 and A9. During larval life, the twist-expressing cells proliferate and, in the abdomen, they form ventral, lateral and dorsal clusters, which are the precursors of the adult abdominal muscles, while in the thorax, they form populations of cells in the imaginal discs that correspond to the adepithelial cells described by previous authors. While most thoracic twist-expressing cells are associated with the discs, the abdominal cells are separate from the precursors of the adult abdominal epidermis, the abdominal histoblasts, and lie on branches of peripheral nerves. The distribution of these cells is tightly linked to the pattern of peripheral nerves, but they segregate normally in da/da embryos despite the absence of the peripheral nervous system.

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