With the advent of genomic technologies, vast areas of developmental biology have become accessible to exploration. Research in Celeste's lab focuses on questions concerning patterning and shape -- how individual cells within a sheet become different from each other and how they then work together to create an organ. These processes are important for the normal development of an organism and it is these processes that are modulated to create new forms. To investigate patterning and shape, we use the model system Drosophila melanogaster, which has outstanding genetic tools that allow temporal and spatial manipulation of gene activity within individual cells. Genome sequence data from wild populations, nine related Drosophila species, and several distant insects facilitate identification of evolutionarily important sequences and this information is coupled to a vast literature on these species' adaptive morphological traits. Celeste has developed a culture system that allows live imaging of developmental events; this tool enables investigation of the mechanisms that execute development and that alter pattern and shape to create evolutionarily diverse forms. Understanding how pattern and shape create form is important because imperfections in these processes cause defects that affect an estimated 3% of live births. For more information on these processes, see the Berg Lab web page.

Selected Publications:

Berg, C. A. 2005.
The Drosophila shell game: Patterning genes and morphological change.
Trends in Genetics 21: 346 – 355.

Ward, E. J. and Berg, C. A. 2005.
Juxtaposition between two cell types is necessary for dorsal appendage tube formation.
Mechanisms of Development 122: 241 – 255.

Dorman, J. B., James, K. E., Fraser, S. E., Kiehart, D. P., and Berg, C. A. 2004.
bullwinkle is required for epithelial morphogenesis during Drosophila oogenesis.
Developmental Biology 267: 320 – 341.

Tran, D. H. and Berg, C.A. 2003.
bullwinkle and shark regulate dorsal-appendage morphogenesis in Drosophila oogenesis.
Development 130: 6273 – 6282.

French, R. F., Cosand, K. A., and Berg, C. A. 2003.
The Drosophila female sterile mutation twin peaks is a novel allele of tramtrack and reveals a requirement for TTK69 in regulating epithelial morphogenesis.
Developmental Biology 253: 18 – 35.

James, K. E., Dorman, J. B., and Berg, C. A. 2002.
Mosaic analyses reveal the function of Drosophila Ras in embryonic dorsoventral patterning and dorsal follicle cell morphogenesis.
Development 129: 2209 – 2222.

Volpe, A., Horowitz, H., Grafer, C. M., Jackson, S. M., and Berg, C. A. 2001.
Drosophila rhino encodes a female-specific chromo-domain protein that affects chromosome structure and egg polarity.
Genetics 159: 1117 – 1134.


additional publication listings available via PubMed