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What are homeotic genes in Drosophila?

What are homeotic genes in Drosophila?

Homeotic genes occupy a central position in the hierarchy of genes controlling the early steps of embryonic development in Drosophila. They are involved in the specification of the individual identity of each segment of the insect’s body.

Which gene is a homeotic gene in a Drosophila embryo?

Hox genes are found in bilateral animals, including Drosophila (in which they were first discovered) and humans. Hox genes are a subset of the homeobox genes. The Hox genes are often conserved across species, so some of the Hox genes of Drosophila are homologous to those in humans.

Are homeotic genes only found in Drosophila?

Homeotic genes homologous to those of Drosophila were later found in a wide range of organisms, including fungi, plants, and vertebrates. In vertebrates, these genes are commonly referred to as HOX genes.

What are homeotic genes in insects called?

Researchers used DNA-sequence similarity to find genes with homeoboxes in other species, including other insects, worms, and even mammals. Together, these genes make up the Hox gene family (Hox is short for homeobox). Interestingly, Hox genes are arranged in clusters.

How are homeotic genes in Drosophila regulated?

Homeotic genes of the Antennapedia and bithorax complexes control Drosophila development by encoding DNA-binding proteins that regulate the transcription of target genes.

How do homeotic genes regulate development in Drosophila?

Homeotic genes thus ensure that the final structures are present at the right place. Homeotic genes of the Antennapedia and bithorax complexes control Drosophila development by encoding DNA-binding proteins. These regulate the transcription of targeted genes.

How many Hox genes are in Drosophila melanogaster?

eight Hox genes
Drosophila, like all insects, has eight Hox genes. These are clustered into two complexes, both of which are located on chromosome 3.

What controls the expression of homeotic genes in Drosophila?

In Drosophila, Hox gene expression is controlled by gene-specific enhancers located within the complex itself.

What are the function of homeotic genes?

Homeotic genes are responsible for determining the identity of particular segments or structures of the body. So, when homeotic genes are inactivated or expressed in unusual locations due to mutations, they may cause body segments to take on new—and sometimes startling! —identities.

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