Expression of Abdominal-B homeoproteins in Drosophila embryos

Development. 1990 Feb;108(2):323-9.


The Abdominal-B (Abd-B) gene determines development of the posteriormost segments in Drosophila. Genetic and molecular analysis suggested that it consists of two genetically separable functions that are conferred by two related homeoproteins termed m and r. We have raised an antiserum against Abd-B protein to describe the patterns of Abd-B protein expression during embryonic development. The pattern of r protein expression, as deduced by analysis of Abd-B mutants, is restricted to ps14 and 15 in all germ layers and observes a parasegmental boundary at its anterior margin of expression. In contrast, the pattern of m protein expression is unusual as its level in the ectoderm increases from ps10 to ps13 in parasegmental steps. Its anterior margin of expression is highly dynamic shifting anteriorly across more than 3 parasegments during midembryonic development. Evidently, the control mechanisms of m and r protein expression are considerably different. Moreover, an antibody-positive Abd-B mutant suggests that these differ, in the case of m protein expression, to some extent in individual germ layers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / physiology*
  • Genes, Homeobox / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Proteins / genetics*


  • Antibodies
  • Proteins