The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 48: 935 - 945 (2004)

Vol 48, Issue 8-9

Special Issue: Eye Development

A moving wave patterns the cone photoreceptor mosaic array in the zebrafish retina

Published: 1 November 2004

Pamela A. Raymond* and Linda K. Barthel

Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA


In this paper, we describe the embryonic origin and patterning of the planar mosaic array of cone photoreceptor spectral subtypes in the zebrafish retina. A discussion of possible molecular mechanisms that might generate the cone mosaic array considers but discards a model that accounts for formation of neuronal mosaics in the inner retina and discusses limitations of mathematical simulations that reproduce the zebrafish cone mosaic pattern. The formation and organization of photoreceptors in the ommatidia of the compound eye of Drosophila is compared with similar features in the developing zebrafish cone mosaic, and a model is proposed that invokes spatiotemporally coordinated cell-cell interactions among cone progenitors to determine the identity and positioning of cone spectral subtypes.


pattern formation, retinal development, cell fate, opsin gene, visual pigment

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