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Genetics. 2002 Mar;160(3):1067-74.

Sequence of the Tribolium castaneum homeotic complex: the region corresponding to the Drosophila melanogaster antennapedia complex.

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  • 1Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA.


The homeotic selector genes of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum, are located in a single cluster. We have sequenced the region containing the homeotic selector genes required for proper development of the head and anterior thorax, which is the counterpart of the ANTC in Drosophila. This 280-kb interval contains eight homeodomain-encoding genes, including single orthologs of the Drosophila genes labial, proboscipedia, Deformed, Sex combs reduced, fushi tarazu, and Antennapedia, as well as two orthologs of zerknüllt. These genes are all oriented in the same direction, as are the Hox genes of amphioxus, mice, and humans. Although each transcription unit is similar to its Drosophila counterpart in size, the Tribolium genes contain fewer introns (with the exception of the two zerknüllt genes), produce shorter mRNAs, and encode smaller proteins. Unlike the ANTC, this region of the Tribolium HOMC contains no additional genes.

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