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.
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.
The genes orthodenticle and hunchback substitute for bicoid in the beetle Tribolium.
Maternal expression relaxes constraint on innovation of the anterior determinant, bicoid.
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.
Cooperative control of positional information in Drosophila by bicoid and maternal hunchback.
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).
These genes, bicoid, zen, and fushi-tarazu (ftz), serve roles in development different from those of the canonical Hox genes.
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.