Splits in fruitfly HOX gene complexes

Gretchen Von Allmen, Iiham Hogga, Anne Spierer, François Karch, Welcome Bender, Henrik Gyurkovics, E. B. Lewis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


SIR-The homeotic genes are strikingly conserved between invertebrates and vertebrates. There is conservation, not only of the homeobox sequences, but also of their colinear order on the chromosome. The genes are found in clusters or complexes, and are arranged on the chromosome in the order of their function along the anteroposterior body axis (for review, see ref. [1]). In the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, the homeotic genes are split into two separate clusters, the Antennapedia complex (ANT-C) and the Bithorax complex (BX-C), which direct development of the anterior and posterior segments, respectively. We show that in Drosophila virilis, a closely related species, the homeotic genes are also in two clusters, but the split occurs within the BX-C. The existence of two independent splits in the Drosophila lineage suggests that these flies lack the molecular constraint responsible for the ordered clusters in other animals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenes, Development, and Cancer
Subtitle of host publicationThe Life and Work of Edward B. Lewis
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9781402063435
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Von Allmen, G., Hogga, I., Spierer, A., Karch, F., Bender, W., Gyurkovics, H., & Lewis, E. B. (2007). Splits in fruitfly HOX gene complexes. In Genes, Development, and Cancer: The Life and Work of Edward B. Lewis (pp. 403-405). Springer Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6345-9_19