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Dev Genes Evol. 2006 Jul-Aug;216(7-8):493-8. Epub 2006 May 3.

Regulation and function of tailless in the long germ wasp Nasonia vitripennis.

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Center for Developmental genetics, Department of Biology, New York University, 1009 Silver Center, 100 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003, USA.


In the long germ insect Drosophila, the gene tailless acts to pattern the terminal regions of the embryo. Loss of function of this gene results in the deletion of the anterior and posterior terminal structures and the eighth abdominal segment. Drosophila tailless is activated by the maternal terminal system through Torso signaling at both poles of the embryo, with additional activation by Bicoid at the anterior. Here, we describe the expression and function of tailless in a long germ Hymenoptera, the wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Despite the morphological similarities in the mode of development of these two insects, we find major differences in the regulation and function of tailless between Nasonia and Drosophila. In contrast to the fly, Nasonia tll appears to rely on otd for its activation at both poles. In addition, the anterior domain of Nasonia tll appears to have little or no segmental patterning function, while the posterior tll domain has a much more extensive patterning role than its Drosophila counterpart.

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