Combinatorial expression of Prospero, Seven-up, and Elav identifies progenitor cell types during sense-organ differentiation in the Drosophila antenna

Dev Biol. 2003 Feb 1;254(1):79-92. doi: 10.1016/s0012-1606(02)00021-0.


The Drosophila antenna has a diversity of chemosensory organs within a single epidermal field. We have some idea from recent studies of how the three broad categories of sense-organs are specified at the level of progenitor choice. However, little is known about how cell fates within single sense-organs are specified. Selection of individual primary olfactory progenitors is followed by organization of groups of secondary progenitors, which divide in a specific order to form a differentiated sensillum. The combinatorial expression of Prospero Elav, and Seven-up allows us to distinguish three secondary progenitor fates. The lineages of these cells have been established by clonal analysis and marker distribution following mitosis. High Notch signaling and the exclusion of these markers identifies PIIa; this cell gives rise to the shaft and socket. The sheath/neuron lineage progenitor PIIb, expresses all three markers; upon division, Prospero asymmetrically segregates to the sheath cell. In the coeloconica, PIIb undergoes an additional division to produce glia. PIIc is present in multiinnervated sense-organs and divides to form neurons. An understanding of the lineage and development of olfactory sense-organs provides a handle for the analysis of how olfactory neurons acquire distinct terminal fates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila / cytology
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • ELAV Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Olfactory Bulb / cytology*
  • Olfactory Bulb / metabolism
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • ELAV Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Steroid
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • pros protein, Drosophila
  • svp protein, Drosophila