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0 Q&A 3822 Views Jul 5, 2019
The early embryo of Drosophila melanogaster exists as a rapidly dividing syncytium of nuclei that are transcriptionally silent. Maternally deposited factors are required to awaken the genome and assist in the transition from maternal to zygotic control of development. Because many of these essential factors are maternally deposited and the early nuclear divisions are so rapid, it has been difficult to assess the functional role of transcription factors at discrete points in early embryonic development. To address this issue, we have developed an optogenetic system that can rapidly and reversibly inactivate transcription factors with nuclear-cycle resolution. The temporal precision enabled by this technique will allow a mechanistic understanding of how transcription factors function together to control genome activation and patterning in the early embryo and is likely broadly applicable to factors throughout embryogenesis.



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