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Publication : Conservation and variation in Hox genes: how insect models pioneered the evo-devo field.

First Author  Heffer Alison Year  2013
Journal  Annu. Rev. Entomol. Volume  58
Pages  161-79 PubMed ID  23317041
Abstract Text  Evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo, broadly investigates how body plan diversity and morphological novelties have arisen and persisted in nature. The discovery of Hox genes in Drosophila, and their subsequent identification in most other metazoans, led biologists to try to understand how embryonic genes crucial for proper development have changed to promote the vast morphological variation seen in nature. Insects are ideal model systems for studying this diversity and the mechanisms underlying it because phylogenetic relationships are well established, powerful genetic tools have been developed, and there are many examples of evolutionary specializations that have arisen in nature in different insect lineages, such as the jumping leg of orthopterans and the helmet structures of treehoppers. Here, we briefly introduce the field of evo-devo and Hox genes, discuss functional tools available to study early developmental genes in insects, and provide examples in which changes in Hox genes have contributed to changes in body plan or morphology. Doi  10.1146/annurev-ento-120811-153601

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