Regulation and function of tailless in the long germ wasp Nasonia vitripennis

Jeremy A. Lynch, Eugenia C. Olesnicky, Claude Desplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the long germ insect Drosophila, the gene tailless acts to pattern the terminal regions of the embryo. Loss of function of this gene results in the deletion of the anterior and posterior terminal structures and the eighth abdominal segment. Drosophila tailless is activated by the maternal terminal system through Torso signaling at both poles of the embryo, with additional activation by Bicoid at the anterior. Here, we describe the expression and function of tailless in a long germ Hymenoptera, the wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Despite the morphological similarities in the mode of development of these two insects, we find major differences in the regulation and function of tailless between Nasonia and Drosophila. In contrast to the fly, Nasonia tll appears to rely on otd for its activation at both poles. In addition, the anterior domain of Nasonia tll appears to have little or no segmental patterning function, while the posterior tll domain has a much more extensive patterning role than its Drosophila counterpart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-498
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Evolution of development
  • Nasonia
  • Orthodenticle
  • Tailless
  • Terminal system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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