Terminal divisions of myogenic lineages in the Drosophila embryo generate sibling myoblasts that found larval muscles or form precursors of adult muscles. Alternative fates adopted by sibling myoblasts are associated with distinct patterns of gene expression. Genes expressed in the progenitor cell are maintained in one sibling and repressed in the other. These differences depend on an asymmetric segregation of Numb between sibling cells. In numb mutants, muscle fates associated with repression are duplicated and alternative muscles are lost. If numb is overexpressed the reverse transformation occurs. Numb acts to block Notch-mediated repression of genes expressed in muscle progenitor cells. Thus asymmetric cell divisions are essential determinants of muscle fates during myogenesis in Drosophila

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