Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Markus Friedrich


In Tribolium, combinatorial knockdown of the Pax6 orthologs eyeless (ey) and twin of eyeless (toy) affects the peripheral visual system but also other areas of the dorsal larval head capsule. To elucidate the role of Pax6 genes during Tribolium embryonic head development in detail, we performed an extensive analysis of cuticle

elements, brain anatomy, embryonic head morphogenesis and developmental marker gene expression. Our results reveal that Pax6 is required for the development of a large contiguous area of the lateral anterior head, morphologically addressed as the embryonic head lobes, which encompass the neuroectodermal precursor tissues of the visual system, parts of the mushroom bodies, and the dorsal head cuticle. In addition to consolidating our understanding of the developmental compartmentalization of the

early Tribolium head, these data characterize Pax6 genes as regional regulators of development.