Building a retinal mosaic: Cell-fate decision in the fly eye

Mathias F. Wernet, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Across the animal kingdom, color discrimination is achieved by comparing the outputs of photoreceptor cells (PRs) that have different spectral sensitivities. Much remains to be understood about how the pattern of these different PRs is generated and maintained. The Drosophila eye has long provided a beautiful system for understanding various aspects of retinal-cell differentiation. Recent progress in this field is revealing that a highly ordered series of events, involving cell-cell communication, localized signaling and stochastic choices, creates a complex mosaic of PRs that is reminiscent of the human retina. Notably, several of the factors used in generating the retinal mosaic of the fruitfly have corresponding functions in vertebrates that are likely to have similar roles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-584
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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