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  • Gene Switch

    Gene Switch


    (1 min 15 sec) Regulatory "switches" are found upstream from a gene. Regulatory molecules bind to the switches and recruit RNA polymerase to bind to the gene's promoter region, increasing the transcription of the gene into messenger RNA.

  • Paintbrush Gene

    Paintbrush Gene


    (49 sec) In two related Drosophila species, a so-called paintbrush gene is activated to "paint" the pigment on the body. In one species, an extra switch activates the gene, resulting in spotted wings.

  • Pitx1 Expression

    Pitx1 Expression


    (55 sec) In the stickleback fish, pelvic-fin reduction resulted from changes in the regulatory switch elements of the Pitx1 gene. In the marine ancestor, the Pitx1 gene is activated in the pelvic-fin region during development to generate the fin. In the pelvic-reduced stickleback, the regulatory switch that normally turns on the Pitx1 gene is either missing or non-functional.

  • Wing Morph

    Wing Morph


    (29 sec) This "morph" animation demonstrates how the expression of a particular toolkit gene in a butterfly larva corresponds to the location of the wing eyespots in an adult butterfly.