The evolution of the gene regulatory networks patterning the Drosophila Blastoderm

Ariel D. Chipman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Drosophila blastoderm gene regulatory network is one of the best studied networks in biology. It is composed of a series of tiered sub-networks that act sequentially to generate a primary segmental pattern. Many of these sub-networks have been studied in other arthropods, allowing us to reconstruct how each of them evolved over the transition from the arthropod ancestor to the situation seen in Drosophila today. I trace the evolution of each of these networks, showing how some of them have been modified significantly in Drosophila relative to the ancestral state while others are largely conserved across evolutionary timescales. I compare the putative ancestral arthropod segmentation network with that found in Drosophila and discuss how and why it has been modified throughout evolution, and to what extent this modification is unusual.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationGene Regulatory Networks
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Inc.


  • Arthropod
  • Blastoderm
  • Evolution
  • Gap gene
  • Insect
  • Pair-rule gene
  • Segment polarity gene
  • Segmentation


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