Arthropod segmentation: Beyond the Drosophila paradigm

Andrew D. Peel*, Ariel D. Chipman, Michael Akam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

217 Scopus citations


Most of our knowledge about the mechanisms of segmentation in arthropods comes from work on Drosophila melanogaster. In recent years it has become clear that this mechanism is far from universal, and different arthropod groups have distinct modes of segmentation that operate through divergent genetic mechanisms. We review recent data from a range of arthropods, identifying which features of the D. melanogaster segmentation cascade are present in the different groups, and discuss the evolutionary implications of their conserved and divergent aspects. A model is emerging, although slowly, for the way that arthropod segmentation mechanisms have evolved.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)905-916
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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