Genetics: How Genes Direct Development

Length: 
6:04

All the cells in all animals have a complete set of genes with the instructions for building an organism. Working with mutations in fruit flies, scientists have found a group of regulatory genes called Hox genes that signal other genes in sequence to build the body of an animal. All animals except sponges have Hox genes.

Next Generation Science Standards

During development, a special set of regulatory genes, called Hox genes, directs the other genes to build the organism. In this way, cells differentiate to become body traits. Understanding how these regulatory genes work helps us understand how new body plans evolved.

Scientists who study genes have both mathematical and analytical abilities as well as a knowledge of animal development and biology.

Working with mutations in fruit flies, scientists have found a group of regulatory genes called Hox genes that signal other genes in sequence to build the body of an animal.

Among the thousands of genes in a cell, there are some that direct development.