Control of dorsoventral patterns in the chick at the prelimb stages resides in the limb mesoderm. Recombination experiments at stage 14, with dorsoventrally reversed ectoderm, result in wings with mesodermal dorsoventral polarity. Similar recombinations at stage 16 show that the ectoderm has acquired dorsoventral information and can impose this polarity on the patterns of mesodermal differentiation in the distal regions of the wing. The dorsoventral information in the ectoderm comes from the mesoderm, which transfers this information to the overlying ectoderm between stages 14 and 16. The initial dorsoventral overlying ectoderm between stages 14 and 16. The initial dorsoventral information in the ectoderm is not stable and can be reprogrammed by stage 14 mesoderm. Subsequently, there is a gradual stabilization of the ectodermal information. At the same time the mesoderm loses its capacity to reprogram dorsoventral information in the ectoderm.