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Hox genes encode transcription factors that function to pattern regional tissue identities along the anterior-posterior axis during animal embryonic development. Divergent nested Hox gene expression patterns within the posterior pharyngeal arches may play an important role in patterning morphological variation in the pharyngeal jaw apparatus (PJA) between evolutionarily divergent teleost fishes. Recent gene expression studies have shown the expression patterns from all Hox paralog group (PG) 2-6 genes in the posterior pharyngeal arches (PAs) for the Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) and from most genes of these PGs for the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). While several orthologous Hox genes exhibit divergent spatial and temporal expression patterns between these two teleost species in the posterior PAs, several tilapia Hox gene expression patterns from PG3-6 must be documented for a full comparative study. Here we present the spatio-temporal expression patterns of hoxb3b, c3a, b4a, a5a, b5a, b5b, b6a and b6b in the neural tube and posterior PAs of the Nile tilapia. We show that several of these tilapia Hox genes exhibit divergent expression patterns in the posterior PAs from their medaka orthologs. We also compare these gene expression patterns to orthologs in other gnathostome vertebrates, including the dogfish shark. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


R Stewart Lyon, Adam Davis, Jean-Luc Scemama. Spatio-temporal expression patterns of anterior Hox genes during Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) embryonic development. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 2013 Mar-Apr;13(3-4):104-8

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PMID: 23376031

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