• wingless;
  • cone cells;
  • retina;
  • Drosophila


Correct tissue patterning during development involves multiple morphogenetic events that include specification of different cell fates, cell proliferation, cell death, and coordinated changes in cell shape, position, and adhesion. Here, we use the Drosophila retina to explore the molecular mechanisms that regulate and integrate these various events. In a previous report, we found that wingless (wg) was required to induce a previously unknown surge of cell death (“early death”) in the pupal retina. Here, we show that wg is also required to induce the more widely studied mid-pupal cell death (“late death”) in a process that involves regulation of DIAP1. Furthermore, our data suggest that wg has a previously unreported role in specifying the glial-like cone cells. This activity requires canonical Wg signaling and is linked with Notch pathway activity. Our work broadens the role of canonical Wg signaling to encompass multiple patterning steps in the emerging Drosophila retina. Developmental Dynamics 239:875–884, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.