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Halachmi, N., Nachman, A., Salzberg, A. (2016). A newly identified type of attachment cell is critical for normal patterning of chordotonal neurons.  Dev. Biol. 411(1): 61--71.
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This work describes unknown aspects of chordotonal organ (ChO) morphogenesis revealed in post-embryonic stages through the use of new fluorescently labeled markers. We show that towards the end of embryogenesis a hitherto unnoticed phase of cell migration commences in which the cap cells of the ventral ChOs elongate and migrate towards their prospective attachment sites. This migration and consequent cell attachment generates a continuous zigzag line of proprioceptors, stretching from the ventral midline to a dorsolateral position in each abdominal segment. Our observation that the cap cell of the ventral-most ChO attaches to a large tendon cell near the midline provides the first evidence for a direct physical connection between the contractile and proprioceptive systems in Drosophila. Our analysis has also provided an answer to a longstanding enigma that is what anchors the neurons of the ligamentless ventral ChOs on their axonal side. We identified a new type of ChO attachment cell, which binds to the scolopale cells of these organs, thus behaving like a ligament cell, but on the other hand exhibits all the typical features of a ChO attachment cell and is critical for the correct anchoring of these organs.

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    Dev. Biol.
    Developmental Biology
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