bicoid

bicoid

A maternal effect gene which is important for patterning of anterior parts (head and thorax) of Drosophila embryos.
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They focused on one protein, Bicoid (Bcd), which is expressed in a gradient with highest levels at the end of the embryo that will become the mature fly's head.
21, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Using fruit flies as a model to study embryo formation, scientists report in Nature Cell Biology that molecular breakdown of a protein called Bicoid is vital to normal head-to-tail patterning of the insect's offspring.
19, the study shows how Bicoid is targeted for molecular degradation by a newly identified protein the researchers named Fates-shifted (Fsd).
The genes operating early during Drosophila segmentation--such as bicoid, hunchback, and knirps--have not been conserved in other arthropods, and likely are a late innovation of the insects.
Among the few maternal mRNAs that have been characterized, bicoid, oscar and nanos are associated with anteroposterior fate in Drosophila, and VGA defines the vegetal pole in Xenopus.
A high concentration of bicoid in one part of the embryo activates the genes needed for development of the head and thorax, says Hazelrigg.
To get where they're supposed to go, the RNA molecules encoding the bicoid message seem to need the help of a protein called exuperantia (exu).
Looking at an even earlier stage of development in Drosophila embryos, Nusslein-Volhard and Wolfgand Driever used labeled antibodies to show that a protein called bicoid diffuses in a stee, head-to-tail gradient within hours after the first cell begins to divide.