Independent regulation of anterior/posterior and equatorial/polar polarity in the Drosophila eye; evidence for the involvement of Wnt signaling in the equatorial/polar axis

Marcel Wehrli, Andrew Tomlinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

96 Scopus citations


The Drosophila retina is made from hundreds of asymmetric subunit ommatidia arranged in a crystalline-like array with each unit shaped and oriented in a precise way. One explanation for the precise cellular arrangements and orientations of the ommatidia is that they respond to two axes of polarized information present in the plane of the retinal epithelium. Earlier work showed that one of these axes lies in the anterior/pasterior (A/P) direction and that the polarizing influence is closely associated with the sweep of the Hedgehog-dependent morphogenetic wave. Here we present evidence for a second and orthogonal axis of polarity, and show that it can be functionally separated from the A/P axis. Further, we show that the polarizing information acting in this equatorial/polar axis (Eq/PI) is established in at least two steps - the activity of one signaling molecule functions to establish the graded activity of a second signal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1432
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 6 1998



  • Axis
  • Drosophila
  • Ommatidia
  • Polarity
  • Retina
  • Signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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