Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Keerthikan Thirukkumar VB6

Explain with examples that the genes that control development of body plans are similar in plants, animals and fungi.
A body plan is the general structure of an organism. If one were to take the example of the Drosphilia fruit fly, it has various body parts; head, abdomen, thorax, etc. The body parts are arranged in a particular arrangement in space, usually in a bilateral symmetry. This is its body plan. Our knowledge of the processes involved in cell differentiation is derived from modern molecular genetic studies of the fruit fly, Drosphilia melanogaster. The species have been studied for over a hundred years due to the various ethical and the practical reasons; short sexual maturation period, short development time from embryo to larvae and it is considered much more ethical to use flies than larger multicellular organisms, such as monkeys, in genetic experiments and they also have a relatively short life cycle. Proteins control the development of a body plan they help set up the basic body plan so that everything is in the right place, i.e. kegs grow where legs should grow. The proteins that control body plan development are coded for genes called homeotic genes. In the example of the fruit fly, two homeotic clusters control the body plan of the fly. One controls the development of the head and the anterior thorax and the other controls the development of the posterior thorax and the abdomen. Any mutations of these genes could change one body parts placement with another body part. A similar form of genetic control of development can be observed in other organisms. Homeobox genes are genes that control the development of the body plan of one organism including the polarity and positioning of the organs. They are present in the genomes of many segmented animals from worms to vertebrates, such as humans. The genes each contain a sequence of 180 base pairsa homeobox- and this sequence produces polypeptides of about 60 amino acids. Some of these are transcription factors and they bind to genes to initiate transcription.

Keerthikan Thirukkumar VB6

Homeobox genes are arranged in clusters called Hox clusters. As organisms become larger and more complicated, the hox clusters they possess. The increase in the number of Hox clusters probably arose by duplication of a single complex that is known to be in smaller segmented organisms and has allowed the more organisms to evolve from simpler organisms. The genes are expressed in specific patterns in certain stages during the development of the embryo, in both vertebrates and invertebrates. They specify the identities of embryonic cells and the development of the body plan and they are always activated in the same order; from anterior to posterior.

Keerthikan Thirukkumar VB6

Outline how apoptosis can act as a mechanism to change body plans.


During the lifetime of an organism, cells live and die. However during development, some cells have to die and break down. This occurs through a highly controlled process called apoptosis. First described in 1842 by Carl Vogt, it was resurrected and researched extensively from 1965 by John Foxton Ross Kerr. The sequence of events eventually allowed it to be differentiated from necrosis. Apoptosis initiates by enzymes breaking down the cell cytoskeleton. This causes the cytoplasm to become dense with the organelles becoming tightly packed. The cell surface membrane changes and small bits called blebs form. This is followed by chromatin condensing and the nuclear envelope breaking, after which the DNA breaks into fragments. The cell breaks into vesicles that are taken up by phagocytosis. The cellular debris is disposed of and does not damage any other cells or tissues. This process is accelerated in order to prevent any interference and so avoid any mishap. It is primarily controlled by a diverse range of cell signals, coming from both inside and outside the cell. These signals include cytokines made by cells of the immune system, hormones and growth factors. Proteins are released into the cytosol and they bind to apoptosis inhibitor proteins and allow the process to occur. While mitosis and differentiation create the bulk of the body parts, apoptosis refines the parts by removing the unwanted structures. In human embryonic development, the hands and feet develop during which the digits are connected to each other. They are only separated when the connecting tissue undergoes apoptosis. All cells contain genes that code for proteins that promote or inhibit apoptosis. During development, genes hat control apoptosis are switched on and off in appropriate cells so that some die and the correct body plan develops.

Keerthikan Thirukkumar VB6

Bibliography
Means to an End: Apoptosis and Other Cell Death Mechanisms - Douglas R. Green Molecular Biology of the Cell (fifth edition) - Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter A2 level biology for OCR Gloria Barnett, James Foster Julian Hardwick, Derek Harvey, Stephen Philips, Adrian Schmit, Sophie Watkins, Anna Fe Williamson OCR A Biology Sue Hocking, Peter Kennedy, Frank Sochaki, Mark Winterbottom Aptosis Wikipedia Body plan Wikipedia Hox Box Wikipedia Hox clusters Wikipedia Drosophilia Wikipedia Developmental genes Wikipedia Transcription Wikipedia