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Wernet, M.F., Labhart, T., Baumann, F., Mazzoni, E.O., Pichaud, F., Desplan, C. (2003). Homothorax switches function of Drosophila photoreceptors from color to polarized light sensors.  Cell 115(3): 267--279.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0167367
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Different classes of photoreceptors (PRs) allow animals to perceive various types of visual information. In the Drosophila eye, the outer PRs of each ommatidium are involved in motion detection while the inner PRs mediate color vision. In addition, flies use a specialized class of inner PRs in the "dorsal rim area" of the eye (DRA) to detect the e-vector of polarized light, allowing them to exploit skylight polarization for orientation. We show that homothorax is both necessary and sufficient for inner PRs to adopt the polarization-sensitive DRA fate instead of the color-sensitive default state. Homothorax increases rhabdomere size and uncouples R7-R8 communication to allow both cells to express the same opsin rather than different ones as required for color vision. Homothorax expression is induced by the iroquois complex and the wingless (wg) pathway. However, crucial wg pathway components are not required, suggesting that additional signals are involved.

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Related Publication(s)
Note

Looking up: regional patterning in the fly eye.
D'Costa and Moses, 2003, Dev. Cell 5(5): 665--666 [FBrf0167475]

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Secondary IDs
    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Cell
    Title
    Cell
    Publication Year
    1974-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0092-8674
    Data From Reference