What are hox genes?

1 Answer
Jul 8, 2014

According to Wikipedia:

"Hox genes (also known as homeotic genes) are a group of related genes that control the body plan of an embryo along head-tail axis.

After the embryonic segments have formed, the Hox proteins determine the type of segment structures (e.g. legs, antennae, and wings in fruit flies or the different types of vertebrae in humans) that will form on a given segment. They appear to be controlling genes.

Definitive proof for a genetic basis of some homeotic changes was obtained by isolating homeotic mutants.

The first homeotic mutant was found by Calvin Bridges in Thomas Hunt Morgan's laboratory in 1915.

This mutant shows a partial duplication of the thorax and was therefore named Bithorax (bx). It transforms the third thoracic segment (T3) toward the second (T2)."

This organism is still being bred to day and can be ordered by catalog.