ABSTRACT: A major issue in development is to understand how local heterogeneities are interpreted to determine specific cell fates. The sense organs of Drosophila provide an accessible system for addressing this issue. Most sense organs comprise four types of cells, and their differentiation is the outcome of a complex developmental programme comprising several steps. Recent results illuminate, for several of these steps, the nature of the local heterogeneities and the mechanism used to interpret them in terms of cell fate decisions.
Current Opinion in Neurobiology.