Planar polarity patterning involves long-range signaling and signal transduction. In Drosophila eye, Dishevelled (Dsh) is not only crucial for cell-autonomous transduction of a polarity signal(s) but is also involved in nonautonomous signaling function. To identify the sites for long-range polarity signaling in eye disc, we examined spatial and temporal conditions for nonautonomous Dsh function. Here we show that Dsh and its downstream factor Armadillo (Arm) are required in the border region of eye disc between the peripodial membrane (PM) and the disc proper (DP) for nonautonomous signaling. Conditional misexpression of Dsh or Arm at the posterior margin of the disc was sufficient to induce nonautonomous polarity reversals. A critical time window for the induction of such changes was approximately coincident with the timing of morphogenetic furrow initiation. Our data suggest that the disc margin is an essential site for organizing planar polarity during the initial stage of retinal morphogenesis. (C) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.