Javier Morante

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In the eye, visual information is segregated into modalities such as color and motion, these being transferred to the central brain through separate channels. Here, we genetically dissect the achromatic motion channel in the fly Drosophila melanogaster at the level of the first relay station in the brain, the lamina, where it is split into four parallel(More)
In the Drosophila optic lobes, the medulla processes visual information coming from inner photoreceptors R7 and R8 and from lamina neurons. It contains approximately 40,000 neurons belonging to more than 70 different types. Here we describe how precise temporal patterning of neural progenitors generates these different neural types. Five transcription(More)
Perlecan is a proteoglycan expressed in the basal lamina of the neuroepithelium during development. Perlecan absence does not impair basal lamina assembly, although in the 55% of the mutants early disruptions of this lamina conducts to exencephaly, impairing brain development. The rest of perlecan-null brains complete its prenatal development, maintain(More)
Neuroepithelial cell proliferation must be carefully balanced with the transition to neuroblast (neural stem cell) to control neurogenesis. Here, we show that loss of the Drosophila microRNA mir-8 (the homolog of vertebrate miR-200 family) results in both excess proliferation and ectopic neuroblast transition. Unexpectedly, mir-8 is expressed in a(More)
One of the most fascinating topics in biology is to understand the development of highly differentiated cells such as photoreceptors (PRs). This process involves successive steps, starting with the generation of the eye primordium, recruitment and specification of PRs and finally, expression of the proper rhodopsin, the photopigment that initiates the(More)
Body-size constancy and symmetry are signs of developmental stability. Yet, it is unclear exactly how developing animals buffer size variation. Drosophila insulin-like peptide Dilp8 is responsive to growth perturbations and controls homeostatic mechanisms that coordinately adjust growth and maturation to maintain size within the normal range. Here we show(More)
The sensory tasks performed by the eye are diverse and complex. In Drosophila, the eye performs motion detection for navigation as well as detection of the quality of light (color and polarized light). Both types of inputs are processed separately, as different photoreceptors are specialized in these tasks and contact different target cell layers in the(More)
In the developing Drosophila optic lobe, eyeless, apterous and distal-less, three genes that encode transcription factors with important functions during development, are expressed in broad subsets of medulla neurons. Medulla cortex cells follow two patterns of cell movements to acquire their final position: first, neurons are arranged in columns below each(More)
The Drosophila visual system is composed of the retina and the optic lobes, which are the ganglia where photoreceptors project and initial processing of visual inputs occur. This protocol outlines procedures for dissecting the optic lobes from Drosophila larvae, pupae, and adults. It also describes methods for visualizing the anatomy of brain neural(More)