How do we know how many genes control development in an organism like Drosophila? And how did we discover that selector genes specify which adult structures will be formed by body segments? Additionally, how do we know that eye formation in all animals is controlled by a binary switch gene?
In order to gather knowledge about the number of genes that control the development in an organism, such as Drosophila, the genes present in the organism are deleted or mutated one at a time to observe what effect it has on the growth of that organism.
The selector genes were discovered when it was observed that similar mutations in the genes clustered together. Based on this observation, their role in the development of the body structures was analyzed.
In animals, mostly two factors are responsible for the eye formation. When one is activated, the other one stays inactive, leading to the knowledge that eye formation in animals is controlled by a binary switch gene.
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