Homeotic genes cause the development of specific structures in plants and animals. They include many of the Hox and ParaHox genes which are important for segmentation, They also include the MADS-box-containing genes involved the ABC model of flower development. Not all homeotic genes are Hox genes; the MADS- box genes are homeotic but not Hox genes. Thus, the Hox genes are a proper subset of homeotic genes.
Homeotic genes, frequently referred to as "Master Regulatory genes", are genes involved in developmental patterns and sequences. For example, homeotic genes are involved in determining where, when, and how body segments develop in flies. Alterations in these genes cause changes in patterns of body parts, sometimes causing dramatic effects such as legs growing in place of antennae or an extra set of wings or, in the case of plants, flowers with abnormal numbers of parts. An individual carrying an altered (mutant) version of a homeotic gene is known as a homeotic mutant.
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- Theissen G (2001). "Development of floral organ identity: stories from the MADS house". Curr. Opin. Plant Biol. 4 (1): 75–85. doi:10.1016/S1369-5266(00)00139-4. PMID 11163172.
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