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Genes Dev. 1989 Aug;3(8):1099-112.

Notch is required for successive cell decisions in the developing Drosophila retina.

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Department of Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08544-1003.


Mutations in the Notch locus affect a variety of developmental decisions in Drosophila. In this paper, we examine the role of Notch in the developing retina. We reduced Notch activity at successive intervals during development of the retina, and then examined the effect on individual cells. When Notch activity was reduced, cells responded by selecting inappropriate developmental pathways. We found that all cell types appear to require Notch when establishing their fate. To examine further Notch's role in eye development, we examined two alleles of Notch--split and facet-glossy. split flies show defects in the initial clustering of photoreceptors, whereas the defects in facet-glossy flies are due to the misrouting of presumptive primary pigment cells into the secondary pigment cell pathway. Our results suggest that Notch plays a permissive role in the cell-cell interactions used to assemble the eye.

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