Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Homeobox Gene

  • Neelabh NeelabhEmail author
  • Akash Gautam
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_34-1


Homeobox genes are a group of similar genes having a common DNA sequence (a homeobox) responsible for coding a homeodomain. They play a vital role in governing the formation of bodily segmentation and cell differentiation during embryonic development.


A homeobox is comprised of a DNA sequence, around 180 base pairs long, and resides inside the genes governing the patterns of anatomical development (morphogenesis) in various organisms like plants, fungi, and animals (Gehring 1992). These genes were initially described in Drosophila melanogaster where they function as the master regulators of the various bodily segmentation and structures during the embryonic development process (Schofield 1987). They code for a string of 60 amino acids termed as homeodomain. An important feature of the homeobox genes is that they are present on every human chromosome, often appearing in clusters (Boncinelli 1997).

The Homeodomain

Homeodomain is the part of the protein that...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology (MMV), Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Akash Gautam
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Neural and Cognitive Sciences, School of Medical SciencesUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia