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Nature. 1989 Apr 27;338(6218):741-4.

Differing strategies for organizing anterior and posterior body pattern in Drosophila embryos.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032.


Opposing anterior and posterior morphogen systems specify the segmented body pattern of Drosophila. The anterior morphogen, bicoid, exerts a direct, instructive influence on head and thoracic pattern by triggering different outcomes according to changes in its concentration along the body. In contrast, the posterior morphogen, nanos, simply defines where abdominal patterning can occur by eliminating an otherwise ubiquitous repressor, hunchback protein, from the posterior half of the embryo. Within this hunchback-free domain the pattern of abdominal segments must be specified by other morphogens, possibly by shorter range gradients of the products of zygotic gap genes Kruppel, knirps and tailless.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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