Hox gene expression during postlarval development of the polychaete Alitta virens

Nadezhda I. Bakalenko, Elena L. Novikova, Alexander Y. Nesterenko, Milana A. Kulakova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Hox genes are the family of transcription factors that play a key role in the patterning of the anterior-posterior axis of all bilaterian animals. These genes display clustered organization and colinear expression. Expression boundaries of individual Hox genes usually correspond with morphological boundaries of the body. Previously, we studied Hox gene expression during larval development of the polychaete Alitta virens (formerly Nereis virens) and discovered that Hox genes are expressed in nereid larva according to the spatial colinearity principle. Adult Alitta virens consist of multiple morphologically similar segments, which are formed sequentially in the growth zone. Since the worm grows for most of its life, postlarval segments constantly change their position along the anterior-posterior axis. Results: We studied the expression dynamics of the Hox cluster during postlarval development of the nereid Alitta virens and found that 8 out of 11 Hox genes are transcribed as wide gene-specific grad
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2013


  • Hox genes
  • ncRNA
  • Polychaete
  • Positional information

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