Evolutionary Techniques for Image Processing a Large Dataset of Early Drosophila Gene Expression
© Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation 2003
Received: 10 July 2002
Published: 21 July 2003
Understanding how genetic networks act in embryonic development requires a detailed and statistically significant dataset integrating diverse observational results. The fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is used as a model organism for studying developmental genetics. In recent years, several laboratories have systematically gathered confocal microscopy images of patterns of activity (expression) for genes governing early Drosophila development. Due to both the high variability between fruit fly embryos and diverse sources of observational errors, some new nontrivial procedures for processing and integrating the raw observations are required. Here we describe processing techniques based on genetic algorithms and discuss their efficacy in decreasing observational errors and illuminating the natural variability in gene expression patterns. The specific developmental problem studied is anteroposterior specification of the body plan.