Retinal determination genes as targets and possible effectors of extracellular signals

Lucy C. Firth, Nicholas E. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Retinal determination genes are sufficient to specify eyes in ectopic locations, raising the question of how these master regulatory genes define an eye developmental field. Genetic mosaic studies establish that expression of the retinal determination genes eyeless, teashirt, homothorax, eyes absent, sine oculis, and dachshund are each regulated by combinations of Dpp, Hh, N, Wg, and Ras signals in Drosophila. Dpp and Hh control eyeless, teashirt, sine oculis, and dachshund expression, Dpp and Ras control homothorax, and all the signaling pathways affect eyes absent expression. These results suggest that eye-specific development uses retinal determination gene expression to relay positional information to eye target genes, because the distinct, overlapping patterns of retinal determination gene expression reflect the activities of the extracellular signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-375
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009


  • Drosophila eye
  • Master regulatory gene
  • Positional information
  • Retinal determination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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