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Adv Genet. 1990;28:275-96.

Effects of heat and chemical stress on development.

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Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, Laramie 82071.


Similarities in the means by which developmental defects are induced in vertebrates and Drosophila suggest that some kinds of defects may be induced by similar mechanisms. The similarities include the fact that heat and a group of chemicals that induce synthesis of heat-shock proteins induce defects in mammals, chickens, and flies. Different kinds of defects are even produced in one type of animal, depending on the precise timing of the environmental insult. The effectiveness of the environmental treatment in inducing defects depends on the genetic background of the animal as well as on past exposure to chemicals and heat. Developmental defects induced by heat in mice, rats, and flies can all be prevented by thermotolerance-inducing treatments. The basis for these effects has been studied at the molecular level in Drosophila, and the evidence indicates that these teratogens and the thermotolerance-inducing treatments affect the level or timing of expression of specific genes during critical periods in the developmental program.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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