Mutations in the nubbin (nub) gene have a phenotype consisting of a severe wing size reduction and pattern alterations, such as transformations of distal elements into proximal ones. nub expression is restricted to the wing pouch cells in wing discs since early larval development. These effects are also observed in genetic mosaics where cell proliferation is reduced in all wing blade regions autonomously, and transformation into proximal elements is observed in distal clones. Clones located in the proximal region of the wing blade cause in addition nonautonomous reduction of the whole wing. Cell lineage experiments in a nub mutant background show that clones respect neither the anterior-posterior nor the dorsal-ventral boundary but that the selector genes have been correctly expressed since early larval development. The phenotypes of nub el and nub dpp genetic combinations are synergistic and the overexpression of dpp in clones in nub wings does not result in overproliferation of the surrounding wild-type cells. We discuss the role of nub in the wing's proximo-distal axis and in the formation of compartment boundaries.