In a variety of organisms, early neurogenesis requires the function of basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors. For the Drosophila PNS, such transcription factors are encoded by the proneural genes (atonal and the achaete-scute complex, AS-C). We have identified a proneural gene, amos, that has strong similarity with atonal in its bHLH domain. We present evidence that amos is required for olfactory sensilla and is regulated by the prepattern gene lozenge. Between them, amos, atonal, and the AS-C can potentially account for the origin of the entire PNS.