These can be cultured for many generations in the abdomen of an adult, where they proliferate but do not differentiate. If transplanted into a larva, they differentiate after pupation according to the disc from which they were derived, they maintain their determination.
Occasionally the disc will differentiate into a structure appropriate to another disc. This is termed transdetermination. It is a rare event, involves a population of cells and certain changes are more common than others, e.g. Leg to wing is more frequent than wing to leg.