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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1986 Apr;93:153-66.

The effect of lethal mutations and deletions within the bithorax complex upon the identity of caudal metameres in the Drosophila embryo.


Mutations and deletions of the abdA and AbdB functions in the bithorax complex of Drosophila melanogaster have been examined for their effect upon the hypodermal derivatives of the caudal segments of the embryo, employing light- and scanning electron microscopy. No cuticular structures located posterior to the denticle belt of abdominal segment 8 are affected in abdA- embryos. Embryos of AbdB- genotype no longer have six of the seven pairs of sense organs present in this region, lack posterior spiracles but instead have sclerotized cuticle and sense organs typical of the head region and a rudimentary extra ventral denticle belt. The anal pads, tuft and sense organ 1 do not require BX-C functions for their specification. We discuss the provenance of these cuticular structures and the domain of function of elements within the bithorax complex in terms of parasegmental metameric units.

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