Altered patterns of gene expression in Tribolium segmentation mutants

Dev Genet. 1998;23(1):56-64. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6408(1998)23:1<56::AID-DVG6>3.0.CO;2-5.


Embryos homozygous for the godzilla, jaws, or kraken mutations of Tribolium castaneum have characteristic defects in segmentation. Here, we examine the expression of Tribolium genes homologous to Drosophila segmentation genes in these mutants to define similarities and differences in the process of segmentation in the two insects. The godzilla mutation disrupts segmentation and alters the expression of Even-skipped (Eve) throughout the germ band. godzilla, therefore, acts at an early step in the segmentation gene hierarchy; the evidence suggests it could be the Tribolium homologue of the eve gene. The jaws mutation causes deletion of most of the abdomen; this defect appears to be correlated with the failure of Eve to resolve into a striped pattern of expression, jaws also causes homeotic transformations in the thorax and the first abdominal segment; this transformation is accompanied by ectopic expression of the homeotic gene maxillopedia in the transformed segments. The kraken mutant disrupts patterning within each segment and, like Drosophila segment polarity mutants, disrupts the maintenance of the normal expression domain of Engrailed. This analysis suggests that late stages of segmentation are similar in Tribolium and Drosophila, although there are clear differences in early steps of segmentation in the two insects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Body Patterning / genetics*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Mammals
  • Mutation*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Tribolium / embryology*
  • Tribolium / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • engrailed protein, Tribolium
  • eve protein, Drosophila