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Int J Dev Biol. 2003;47(7-8):497-503.

'De-evolution' of Drosophila toward a more generic mode of axis patterning.

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Department of Biology, New York University, New York 10003-6688, USA.


The genetics of the establishment of the primary axes of the early embryo have been worked out in great detail Drosophila. However, evidence has accumulated that Drosophila employs a mode of patterning that is not shared with most insects. In particular, the use of the morphogenic gradient of the Bicoid homeoprotein appears to be a novel addition to the fly developmental toolkit. To better understand the ancestral mode of patterning that is probably more widely used by insects, several groups have used Evo-Devo approaches as well as sophisticated genetic manipulations of Drosophila to achieve some form of 'de-evolution' of this derived insect. Genetic manipulations of the beetle Tribolium and the wasp Nasonia have validated most of these results.

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