In screens for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants defective in vulval morphogenesis, we isolated multiple mutants in which the uterus and the vulva fail to make a functional connection, resulting in an egg-laying defective phenotype. Two of these connection of gonad defective (Cog) mutants carry alleles of the egl-26 gene. We demonstrate that vulval lineages in egl-26 mutant animals are normal, but one vulval cell, vulF, adopts an abnormal morphology. This results in formation of an abnormally thick layer of vulval tissue at the apex of the vulva and a physical blockage of the exit to the vulva from the uterus. egl-26 was cloned and is predicted to encode a novel protein. Mosaic analysis indicates that egl-26 activity is required in the primary vulval lineage for vulF morphogenesis. Expression of a functional translational fusion of EGL-26 to GFP was observed within the primary vulval lineage only in vulE, which neighbors vulF. EGL-26 is localized at the apical edge of the vulE cell. It is thus possible that vulE acts to instruct morphological changes in the neighboring cell, vulF, in an interaction mediated by EGL-26.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology