Introduction to Genetic Analysis 577

Introduction to Genetic Analysis 577 - 44200_18_p575-610...

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576 Chapter 18 The Genetic Basis of Development CHAPTER OVERVIEW T he general body plan of an animal is a specific pat- tern of structures common to all members of its species. Such body plans may be common to many very different species: all mammalian species have four limbs, whereas all insects have six. However, all mammals and insects must, in the course of their development, differ- entiate the anterior from the posterior end and the dor- sal from the ventral side. Eyes and legs always appear in the appropriate places. The basic body plan of a species appears to be quite robust—that is, the internal genetic program produces the same body plan within a broad range of environmental conditions. We should not for- get, however, that the study of the genetic determina- tion of these basic developmental processes does not provide an explanation of the phenotypic differences be- tween individual members of a species. This chapter focuses on the processes that underlie pattern forma-
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