The final pattern of the cuticle of the Drosophila larva depends on the position-specific behaviour of the epidermal cells during their differentiation. This behaviour is dictated, in part, by the relative position of the cells during embryogenesis which allows them to receive and integrate signals from their neighbours. The translation of this ‘positional information’ into pattern might depend on the activity of genes that are able to integrate the outcome of cell interactions and tranfer it to the genes responsible for cell differentiation. Mutations in the gene puckered cause spatially restricted defects during the differentiation of the larval epidermal cells. We present data that suggests puckered may be involved in linking positional information to cell differentiation.

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