Morphogenetic processes, based on the temporal and spatial control of cell proliferation, are involved in determining the size and shape of an organism. We have used clonal analysis, employing X-ray-induced mitotic recombination, to study cell proliferation and differentiation processes in the developing wing imaginal disc of Drosophila. Our results show a non-uniform distribution of mitotic activities during different stages of wing development. This may reflect waves of cell proliferation which derive from distinct centers of cell proliferation within the growing wing imaginal disc. These proliferation centers are located within the major wing compartments (i.e. the anterior, posterior, dorsal and ventral compartments) and they are restricted to the areas which give rise to the intervein regions of the adult wing. The mitotic recombination analysis, combined with the study of Minute and gynandromorph mosaics, show that the presumptive vein regions of the wing represent distinct boundaries which delimit the proliferation centers to the intervein regions. We present a generative model of wing morphogenesis that is consistent with our results.