Retinoic acid plays several important roles during the development of vertebrates. For a long time it was thought that the retinoic acid signaling pathway is not used in invertebrate systems until components of this pathway were detected in mollusks and insects. In mollusks, retinoic acid was shown to be involved in axon guidance. For this reason we started to investigate whether similar mechanisms are also involved in the development of the insect nervous system, because effective guidance molecules would be valuable tools for project 1 (microfluidics).
Several aspects of this line of research are pursued in collaboration with Prof. Dr. J. Mey (Aachen und Toledo)