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Nature. 1995 Aug 10;376(6540):479-85.

Homeotic genes and the evolution of arthropods and chordates.

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  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Wisconsin at Madison 53706, USA.


Clusters of homeotic genes sculpt the morphology of animal body plans and body parts. Different body patterns may evolve through changes in homeotic gene number, regulation or function. Recent evidence suggests that homeotic gene clusters were duplicated early in vertebrate evolution, but the generation of arthropod and tetrapod diversity has largely involved regulatory changes in the expression of conserved arrays of homeotic genes and the evolution of interactions between homeotic proteins and the genes they regulate.

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