The developmental and molecular biology of genes that subdivide the body of Drosophila

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2000;16:243-71. doi: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.16.1.243.


During the past decade, much progress has been made in understanding how the adult fly is built. Some old concepts such as those of compartments and selector genes have been revitalized. In addition, recent work suggests the existence of genes involved in the regionalization of the adult that do not have all the features of selector genes. Nevertheless, they generate morphological distinctions within the body plan. Here we re-examine some of the defining criteria of selector genes and suggest that these newly characterized genes fulfill many, but not all, of these criteria. Further, we propose that these genes can be classified according to the domains in which they function. Finally, we discuss experiments that address the molecular mechanisms by which selector and selector-like gene products function in the fly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Genes, Insect / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / physiology


  • Insect Proteins