We report the identification of a Drosophila locus, reversed polarity (repo). Weak repo alleles were viable but affected glia in the optic lobe, resulting in a reversal in polarity of the electrophysiological response to light in the adult. Strong repo alleles caused defects in embryonic glia and resulted in embryonic lethality. Expression of repo appeared to be specific to glia throughout development. In the adult visual system, repo was expressed in laminal glia, medullar glia, and subretinal cells; in the embryo, repo was expressed in nearly all of the identified glia in the central and peripheral nervous systems except midline glia. The repo gene encoded a homeo domain protein suggesting that it might be a transcriptional regulator of genes required for glial development.
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