Temporal regulation of neural diversity in Drosophila and vertebrates

Rana N. El-Danaf, Raghuvanshi Rajesh, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The generation of neuronal diversity involves temporal patterning mechanisms by which a given progenitor sequentially produces multiple cell types. Several parallels are evident between the brain development programs of Drosophila and vertebrates, such as the successive emergence of specific cell types and the use of combinations of transcription factors to specify cell fates. Furthermore, cell-extrinsic cues such as hormones and signaling pathways have also been shown to be regulatory modules of temporal patterning. Recently, transcriptomic and epigenomic studies using large single-cell sequencing datasets have provided insights into the transcriptional dynamics of neurogenesis in the Drosophila and mammalian central nervous systems. We review these commonalities in the specification of neuronal identity and highlight the conserved or convergent strategies of brain development by discussing temporal patterning mechanisms found in flies and vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Cell identity
  • Drosophila
  • Fate specification
  • Neuronal diversity
  • Temporal patterning
  • Vertebrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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