We first summarize wing development during metamorphosis of Drosophila and identify four critical steps in the conversion of a folded single layered wing disc to a flat bilayered wing. Each step occurs twice, once during the 12 hour prepupal period and again during the 84 hour pupal period. (1) Apposition in which basal surfaces of dorsal and ventral epithelia come close together. (2) Adhesion in which basal junctions form between the apposed basal surfaces. (3) Expansion in which wing area increases as a result of cells flattening. (4) Separation in which dorsal and ventral epithelia are separated by a bulky extracellular matrix but remain connected by slender cytoplasmic processes containing the microtubules and microfilaments of the transalar cytoskeleton. Disc ultrastructure is correlated with the distribution of the beta chain of integrin, laminin A, and filamentous actin for each key stage of pupal development. Integrin and laminin exhibit a mutually exclusive distribution from the adhesion stage onwards. Integrin is present on the basal surface of intervein cells but not on vein cells whereas laminin A is absent from the basal surfaces of intervein cells but is present on vein cells. We conclude that laminin is not a ligand for integrin in this context. During apposition and adhesion stages integrin is broadly distributed over the basal and lateral surfaces of intervein cells but subsequently becomes localized to small basal foci. These foci correspond to basal contact zones between transalar processes. The distribution of filamentous actin is dynamic, changing from an apical distribution during hair morphogenesis to a basal distribution as the transalar cytoskeleton develops. Basal adherens-type junctions are first evident during the adhesion stage and become closely associated with the transalar cytoskeleton during the separation stage. Thus, basal junction formation occurs in two discrete steps; intercellular connections are established first and junction/cytoskeletal connections are formed about 20 hours later. These observations provide a basis for future investigations of integrin mediated adhesion in vivo.
Integrins are found on many cell types during the development of most organisms. In Drosophila their functions can be analysed genetically. An analysis of lethal mutations in a PS integrin gene showed that the integrins were required for muscle attachment and for certain cell sheet migrations during embryogenesis. In this paper we use viable mutations in integrin component genes to look at integrin function in the later stages of development of one adult structure, the wing. We show that two known viable mutations, one which has its primary effect on the fly's escape response, the other on wing morphogenesis, are mutations in the beta and PS2alpha subunits, respectively, of the PS integrins. The mutation non-jumper (mys(mj42)) in the beta subunit leads to wasting of the thoracic jump muscles. Flies in which the dosage of this allele is reduced (and no wildtype copy is present) show defects also in wing morphogenesis. The two surfaces of the wing fail to connect properly, resulting in ‘blistering’ of the wing and the formation of extra crossveins. The mutation in the gene for the PS2alpha integrin subunit, inflated, also leads to a failure in wing surface apposition and consequent wing blistering. When the two mutations are combined, the mutant phenotype is greatly enhanced. Thus, one of the roles of the PS integrins in late Drosophila development is to ensure the correct apposition and patterning of the wing epithelia.