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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. Evolution has been thought to act on small changes in the characteristics of organisms coded by genes called realizator genes. D. Tautz explains how a new result in this issue of Science by Gibson and Hogness (p. 200) shows that this may not always be true. A small phenotypic variation in Drosophila (sensitivity to ether), apparent only under environmental stress, turns out to be coded by a polymorphism in a selector gene, Ultrabithorax, a member of a class of genes that specifies whole body parts and anatomical regions.
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