Short-range interaction between dorsal and ventral (D and V) cells establishes an organizing center at the DV compartment boundary that controls growth and specifies cell fate along the dorsal-ventral axis of the Drosophila wing. The secreted signaling molecule Wingless (Wg) is expressed by cells at the DV compartment boundary and has been implicated in mediating its long-range patterning activities. Here we show that Wg acts directly, at long range, to define the expression domains of its target genes, Distal-less and vestigial. Expression of the Achaete-scute genes, Distal-less and vestigial at different distances from the DV boundary is controlled by Wg in a concentration-dependent manner. We propose that Wg acts as a morphogen in patterning the D/V axis of the wing.

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