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Dev Growth Differ. 1997 Aug;39(4):515-22.

Double-segment defining role of even-skipped homologs along the evolution of insect pattern formation.

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Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki, Japan.


Recent studies on insect patterning suggest that the genetic hierarchy may be roughly conserved in phylogenetically divergent species, but pair-rule genes may not function identically in all insects. In order to understand potential evolutionary changes in the role of the pair-rule genes, a Bombyx even-skipped homolog was cloned and its expression pattern during early embryogenesis studied. Eight stripes of Bombyx even-skipped were progressively expressed in an antero-posterior order. Later, these stripes disappeared anteriorly. Under this detection system, Bombyx even-skipped stripes clearly do not resolve into the corresponding secondary stripes, an obvious difference from Drosophila and Tribolium. These results suggest that Bombyx even-skipped may serve a double-segment defining role and may determine the odd-numbered engrailed stripes.

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