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Nature 287, 795 - 801 (30 October 1980); doi:10.1038/287795a0

Mutations affecting segment number and polarity in Drosophila

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard & Eric Wieschaus

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, PO Box 10.2209, 69 Heidelberg, FRG

In systematic searches for embryonic lethal mutants of Drosophila melanogaster we have identified 15 loci which when mutated alter the segmental pattern of the larva. These loci probably represent the majority of such genes in Drosophila. The phenotypes of the mutant embryos indicate that the process of segmentation involves at least three levels of spatial organization: the entire egg as developmental unit, a repeat unit with the length of two segments, and the individual segment.

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