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Mech Dev. 2000 Dec;99(1-2):101-11.

Sense organ identity in the Drosophila antenna is specified by the expression of the proneural gene atonal.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Homi Bhabha Road, 400005, Mumbai, India.


We have shown that the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor Atonal is sufficient for specification of one of the three subsets of olfactory sense organs on the Drosophila antenna. Misexpression of Atonal in all sensory precursors in the antennal disc results in their conversion to coeloconic sensilla. The mechanism by which specific sense organ fate is triggered remains unclear. We have shown that the homeodomain transcription factor Cut which acts in the chordotonal-external sense organ choice does not play a role in olfactory sense organ development. The expression of atonal in specific domains of the antennal disc is regulated by an interplay of the patterning genes, Hedgehog and Wingless, and Drosophila epidermal growth factor receptor pathway.

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