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Dev Genes Evol. 2017 Sep;227(5):309-317. doi: 10.1007/s00427-017-0590-7. Epub 2017 Aug 8.

Regulation and function of odd-paired in Tribolium segmentation.

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Division of Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 52828, Republic of Korea.
Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Plus Program), Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 52828, Republic of Korea.
School of Allied Health, Business, and STEM, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT, USA.
Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA.


The pair-rule gene odd-paired (opa) is required for the patterning of alternate segment boundaries in the early Drosophila embryo. Mutant phenotypes of opa display a typical pair-rule phenotype in which most of each odd-numbered denticle belt is eliminated. However, among the nine Drosophila pair-rule genes, opa is the only gene that is not expressed in stripes with double segmental periodicity; its transcript and protein are expressed in a broad domain within segmenting embryos. While expression patterns of orthologs of opa have been analyzed in several arthropod species, their regulation and function in segmentation were largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the expression patterns, regulation, and function of the Tribolium ortholog of opa (Tc-opa). Tc-opa is expressed in segmental stripes in the early stages of segmentation and then is expressed in a broad domain at the growth zone of elongating germbands where new segments form. This broad expression of Tc-opa is processed into segmental stripes once the trunk has become segmented. Tc-opa expression is regulated positively and negatively by even-skipped and odd-skipped, respectively. However, knock-down of Tc-opa does not affect embryonic segmentation. Our findings suggest that Tc-opa expression is regulated by the pair-rule gene network even though its requirement for segmentation is uncertain in Tribolium.


Insect segmentation; Odd-paired; Pair-rule gene; Tribolium

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