What the Papers Say
Spam and the evolution of the fly's eye
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 29, Issue 2, pages 111–115, February 2007
How to Cite
Osorio, D. (2007), Spam and the evolution of the fly's eye. Bioessays, 29: 111–115. doi: 10.1002/bies.20533
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2007
The open rhabdoms of the fly's eye enhance absolute sensitivity but to avoid compromising spatial acuity they require precise optical geometry and neural connections.1 This neural superposition system evolved from the ancestral insect eye, which has fused rhabdoms. A recent paper by Zelhof and co-workers2 shows that the Drosophila gene spacemaker (spam) is necessary for development of open rhabdoms, and suggests that mutants revert to an ancestral state. Here I outline how open rhabdoms and neural superposition may have evolved via nocturnal intermediates, and discuss the implications for the role of spam in insect phylogeny. BioEssays 29: 111–115, 2007. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.