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Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Nov;2(11):846-57.

Signalling pathways in Drosophila and vertebrate retinal development.

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Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, 1648 Pierce Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30033, USA.


The near-catholic conservation of paired box gene 6 (Pax6) and its supporting cast of retinal determination genes throughout the animal kingdom has sparked a scientific war over the evolutionary origins of the eye. The battle pits those who support a polyphyletic history for the eye against those who argue for a common ancestor for all 'seeing' animals. Recent papers have shed light on how eyes in both vertebrates and invertebrates are patterned. New insights into the roles that signal-transduction cascades might have in determining the Drosophila melanogaster eye indicate that, like many developmental processes, eye specification is an inductive process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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