• Question: What happens if multiple segments of an organism have the same 'master gene'?

    Asked by joshuaxmas18 to Tomas, Richard, Reka, Paul, Omar, Oliver, Kevin, Judith, Hannah, Gemma, Emma, David, Bobby, Anthony on 8 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Gemma Chandratillake

      Gemma Chandratillake answered on 8 Jan 2019:


      All cells in an organism have the same genome, so all segments of an organism do have the same master genes. What’s important is when and where they are turned on during development.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 8 Jan 2019:


      If a gene is at the ‘top’ of a regulatory pathway, it can influence other genes further down the pathway. If there is a problem with a gene, the further up the pathway it is, the more widespread its effects will be. If a gene that’s important for many different segments of an organism is damaged, then all of those segments will be damaged.

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