Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The conserved homeobox (Hox) gene cluster is neither conserved nor clustered in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Instead, C. elegans has a reduced and dispersed gene complement that is the result the loss of Hox genes in stages throughout its evolutionary history. The roles of Hox genes in patterning the nematode body axis are also divergent, although there are tantalising remnants of ancient regulatory systems. Hox patterning also differs greatly between C. elegans and a second 'model' nematode, Pristionchus pacificus. The pattern of Hox gene evolution may be indicative of the move to deterministic developmental modes in nematodes.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Genet Dev

Publication Date





593 - 598


Animals, Artificial Gene Fusion, Biometry, Evolution, Molecular, Gene Deletion, Genes, Homeobox, Nematoda