Senseless is required for pupal retinal development in Drosophila

Genesis. 2004 Apr;38(4):182-94. doi: 10.1002/gene.20018.


Drosophila sensory organs are specified by a family of proneural genes which induce the expression of several common targets. One such target is senseless, which encodes a zinc finger transcription factor. We analyzed the function of senseless during pupal retinal development and found that senseless is required for recruitment of both cone and pigment cells, the pupal-derived ommatidial support cells. We also found that Senseless is expressed in neural precursors shortly after the larval-pupal transition and is both necessary and sufficient for interommatidial bristle development. Furthermore, senseless is the primary target of achaete and scute during interommatidial bristle development. We also identified several differences between the development of interommatidial bristles and other macrochaete. In particular, EGFR signaling is not required for interommatidial bristle development, nor is positive feedback regulation of proneural genes by senseless. A model for interommatidial bristle specification is presented.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Pupa / growth & development*
  • Pupa / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • sens protein, Drosophila
  • ErbB Receptors