How to Redesign the Body Pattern of an Organism

  • A. Lima-de-Faria


The combination of the study of embryonic development with a sophisticated genetic technology has led to the discovery of the molecular cascades that take place between DNA and the formation of an adult organism.

It has been known for over 100 years that the antennae of an insect can be transformed into a foot, and legs can be modified into wings, but these genetic events remained curiosities.

The discovery of homeobox genes, that determine the body plan of an animal and of a plant, changed radically this situation. Eight-legged and four-winged flies were produced and eyes were formed on wings and wings on eyes. Other experiments revealed the great importance of eye genes in development indicating the primary role of the eye in shaping body construction.


Homeobox Gene Body Plan Abdominal Segment Thoracic Segment Homeotic Gene 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell and Organism BiologyLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.LundSweden

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