The metamorphosis of flatfishes is characterized by the migration of one eye to the opposite side of the head and by subsequent pigmentation of the ocular side. Recently, the developmental system regulating these asymmetries has gradually been elucidated. An important finding related to eye sidedness is that the Nodal pathway, which is known to control laterality of internal organs, fixes eye sidedness through a series of novel mechanisms. Regarding pigmentation, latent precursors that give rise to the adult-type chromatophores that confer colour to the ocular side are localized along the base of the dorsal and anal fins until metamorphosis.
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