Hox genes determine the formation of anterior-posterior body axis in all bilaterians. It is along with this common theme of body plan determination in animals that a variety of forms have evolved. Regulatory mechanisms that set the expression pattern of Hox genes and their subsequent targets play key role in this process. Recent advances in genome scale technology like mapping of epigenetic modifications and long-range interactions present unprecedented opportunity to solve the complex puzzle of regulatory events related with Hox genes. These advances have expanded the depth and width of molecular, cellular and genetic approaches to study biology. This sets the stage for this special hox meeting to discuss current status and the future directions in the field of developmental biology.

Genomic approaches have now come of age where classical genetic, cellular and molecular aspects of biology are interrogated at an unprecedented depth. Generation of large data sets and expanding use of bioinformatics provides exceptional opportunity of studying problems that have evaded scientists for so long. One of the major advantages of genomic approaches also is that they are applicable to wider variety of organisms that, at least partly, takes care of the limitation of genetic approaches that often are largely confined to laboratory model organisms. Biology of hox complexes that represents one of the major conserved genetic systems responsible for anterior-posterior body axis formation in all animals and, therefore, substrate for evolution of complexity and variety, has come to a crossroad of opportunities like never before. In the light of these remarkable advances, biology of hox genes that has led to discovery of several principles and mechanisms of general implications, stands to take advantage of new findings and techniques to take the study of genetic regulatory process at a higher stage.

The EMBO Workshop will cover the following major themes:

  • Evolution of Hox genes
  • Bithorax complex
  • Vertebrate Hox complex
  • Chromatic and non-coding RNA
  • Epigenetic control of Hox genes
  • Genomic approaches in control of Hox genes
  • Hox proteins and their cofactors
  • Downstream of Hox genes – Organogenesis
  • Looking ahead – new technologies, ideas and networks





Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB)

Uppal Rd, IICT Colony, Tarnaka, Hyderabad,

Andhra Pradesh 500007,


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