Fgfrl1 (fibroblast growth factor receptor-like 1) is a transmembrane receptor that is essential for the development of the metanephric kidney. It is expressed in all nascent nephrogenic structures and in the ureteric bud. Fgfrl1 null mice fail to develop the metanephric kidneys. Mutant kidney rudiments show a dramatic reduction of ureteric branching and a lack of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition. Here, we compared the expression profiles of wildtype and Fgfrl1 mutant kidneys to identify genes that act downstream of Fgfrl1 signaling during the early steps of nephron formation. We detected 56 differentially expressed transcripts with 2-fold or greater reduction, among them many genes involved in Fgf, Wnt, Bmp, Notch, and Six/Eya/Dach signaling. We validated the microarray data by qPCR and whole-mount in situ hybridization and showed the expression pattern of candidate genes in normal kidneys. Some of these genes might play an important role during early nephron formation. Our study should help to define the minimal set of genes that is required to form a functional nephron.