Kornath Madhavan


Biology Department

Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., Annamalai University

Fields: Developmental Biology, Histology, Reproductive Biology, and Entomology


Contact Information

Email: kmadhava@holycross.edu


  • Topics: The Biology of Reproduction
  • Topics: Organismal Biology
  • Introduction to Biology 1
  • Developmental Biology
  • Histology
  • Endocrinology


I use the fruit fly, Drosophila and other flies (flesh fly, house fly, apple maggot, gall midge, etc.) as experimental organisms.

One of the seminal questions in developmental biology is the appearance of pattern or form during development. We still do not know the rules used by the single-celled zygote--fertilized egg-- to position its head and tail regions and the different structures in between these two regions in the right pattern, so that the resulting multicellular organism will have a normal form.

Regulation and pattern formation, and cell lineage in the histoblasts which form the integument of the abdomen of the adult Drosophila and an insect vector, the house fly, are used as models to study pattern formation in insects. Results of these studies could be compared to those available in vertebrates. In my studies, I use genetic, microsurgical, thermocautery (destruction of cells by heat), histological, immuno- and cytochemical and electron microscopical techniques.


  • M.M. Madhavan and K. Madhavan. 2003. Analysis of histoblasts. In “Drosophila Cytogenetics Protocols,” D.S. Henderson, ed., Human Press, Inc., NJ.
  • Madhavan, K., D.A. Rapko, and M.M. Madhavan. 1996. Sequential development of chaetal pattern in the adult abdominal cuticle of a transgenic Drosophila. Dev. Biol. 175:390. (Abstract)
  • Madhavan, K., and M.M. Madhavan. 1995. Defects in the adult abdominal integument of Drosophila caused by mutations in torpedo, a DER homolog. Roux's Arch. Dev. Biol. 204:330-335.
  • Madhavan, K., and A. Picarillo. 1994. Differential lacZ expression in the diploid and polytene cells of Drosophila melanogaster. Dros. Inf. Ser. 75:132-133.
  • Madhavan, K., and M.M. Madhavan. 1994. Negative growth control of mitotically active imaginal cells (histoblasts) of the abdominal epidermis during metamorphosis of the housefly. J. Morph. 222:301-307.
  • Madhavan, K., and M.M. Madhavan, and S.C. Wadsworth. 1991. Role of DER gene on the morphogenesis of adult abdominal epidermis of Drosophila. J. Cell Biol. 115:14. (Abstract).
  • Madhavan, K., and M.M. Madhavan. 1990. Pattern regulation in the ventral histoblasts of the housefly: Induction of sternal pattern abnormalities by mechanical wounding of larval epidermal cells. Dev. Biol. 139:42-55.