Signalling pathways in Drosophila and vertebrate retinal development

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Nov;2(11):846-57. doi: 10.1038/35098564.


The near-catholic conservation of paired box gene 6 (Pax6) and its supporting cast of retinal determination genes throughout the animal kingdom has sparked a scientific war over the evolutionary origins of the eye. The battle pits those who support a polyphyletic history for the eye against those who argue for a common ancestor for all 'seeing' animals. Recent papers have shed light on how eyes in both vertebrates and invertebrates are patterned. New insights into the roles that signal-transduction cascades might have in determining the Drosophila melanogaster eye indicate that, like many developmental processes, eye specification is an inductive process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Vertebrates / genetics
  • Vertebrates / growth & development