Temporal patterning of Drosophila medulla neuroblasts controls neural fates

Xin Li, Ted Erclik, Claire Bertet, Zhenqing Chen, Roumen Voutev, Srinidhi Venkatesh, Javier Morante, Arzu Celik, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the Drosophila optic lobes, the medulla processes visual information coming from inner photoreceptors R7 and R8 and from lamina neurons. It contains approximately 40,000 neurons belonging to more than 70 different types. Here we describe how precise temporal patterning of neural progenitors generates these different neural types. Five transcription factors-Homothorax, Eyeless, Sloppy paired, Dichaete and Tailless-are sequentially expressed in a temporal cascade in each of the medulla neuroblasts as they age. Loss of Eyeless, Sloppy paired or Dichaete blocks further progression of the temporal sequence. We provide evidence that this temporal sequence in neuroblasts, together with Notch-dependent binary fate choice, controls the diversification of the neuronal progeny. Although a temporal sequence of transcription factors had been identified in Drosophila embryonic neuroblasts, our work illustrates the generality of this strategy, with different sequences of transcription factors being used in different contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-462
Number of pages7
JournalNature
Volume498
Issue number7455
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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    Li, X., Erclik, T., Bertet, C., Chen, Z., Voutev, R., Venkatesh, S., Morante, J., Celik, A., & Desplan, C. (2013). Temporal patterning of Drosophila medulla neuroblasts controls neural fates. Nature, 498(7455), 456-462. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12319