How does our understanding of HOX genes provide evidence for evolution?
The homeobox genes are evolutionarily conservative. There is a similarity between the HOX genes in fugus , humans and fruit flies.
The conservative nature of the HOX genes gave hope that the study of the gene would give insight into evolutionary pathways.
These similar genes in organisms direct the formation of body structures in early embryonic development. These genes continue to have an important effect on the development and repair of structures through out the live of the organism.
The human genome has 39 clusters of the HOX gene that direct the development of every part of the human organism. A small error or mutation in the HOX gene can lead to serious humans diseases. The study of the HOX gene gives promise for the treatment of many humans diseases.
Though the proteins produced by the HOX genes in different organism are similar there seem to be no evolutionary links between the functions of the HOX in any organisms. The homology of the HOX is indicative of possible relationships there is no proof that can be derived for Darwinian evolution from the HOX gene.