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The developing retina is an excellent model to study cellular fate determination and differentiation in the context of a complex tissue. Over the last decade, many basic principles and key genes that underlie these processes have been experimentally identified. In this review, we construct network models to summarize known gene interactions that underlie determination and fundamentally affect differentiation of each retinal cell type. These networks can act as a scaffold to assemble subsequent discoveries. In addition, these summary networks provide a rational segue to systems biology approaches necessary to understand the many events leading to appropriate cellular determination and differentiation in the developing retina and other complex tissues.
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