The WingX projects aims at the reproduction of Drosophila wing development in a computer. The underlying mathematical modeling of wing organ development is dependent on the feed with genetic data, regulatory mechanisms and protein compositions. These biological data need to be recorded quantitatively, over extend time periods and with spacial resolution by applying suitable imaging techniques. To validate the accuracy and robustness of the resulting mathematical models biological experiments will be performed.


  • In vitro culturing of imaginal discs To easily access larval discs for microscopy, measurement and manipulation an elaborate micro-culture chamber will be engineered. This in vitro approach will allow for development and growth of imaginal discs outside of the larva.

  • Development and application of novel imaging techniques To reconstruct the wing disc development in a 3D model quantitative genetic and proteomic data with spatio-temporal resolution need to be recorded. For this purpose, a bunch of imaging techniques - e.g. self-focusing - will be developed.

  • Development and implementation of computational models Mathematical models will be generated by integrating available biological knowledge and experimental data with reverse engineering techniques, advanced image processing algorithms, and uncertainty quantification methods. In a synergetic approach, computations and experiments need to be combined for the validation and refinement of the simulations resulting from mathematical models.

  • Implementation of state-of-the-art proteomics tools To characterize the proteome of the developing wing, to quantify essential key signaling components and to determine their spatio-temporal variation in response to genetic perturbations modern proteomics techniques will be used.

  • Establish a fly catwalkFor automated measurements of wing body traits a setup called "fly catwalk" will be constructed to characterize 192 fly lines phenotypically and to later perform genome wide association studies (GWAS).

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