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Seeing is believing: the Bicoid protein reveals its path

The Bicoid (Bcd) protein gradient in Drosophila is a fascinating observation in nature and has served in textbooks as a paradigm for morphogen gradient formation for decades. Until recently, it was unclear how the Bcd protein moved towards the posterior end during the early nuclear cycle stages of the Drosophila egg to form the gradient. This commentary summarizes recent findings on the path, demonstrating that the protein does not move throughout the yolk, but rather moves along a discrete path along the cortex.  his observation is consistent with the ARTS model of gradient formation where the Bcd protein gradient is preceded by a bcd mRNA gradient.

Aims and scope

For almost a century, Hereditas has published original cutting-edge research and reviews. As the Official journal of the Mendelian Society of Lund, the journal welcomes research from across all areas of genetics and genomics. Topics of interest include human and medical genetics, animal and plant genetics, microbial genetics, agriculture and bioinformatics. Articles covering novel viral sequences or the use of new technology and software in genomic research are also welcomed.


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Hereditas launched with BioMed Central in 2015, transferring from its previous publisher Wiley. All back content is available in the archive.


Stefan Baumgartner, Lund University
Yongyong Shi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Society information

The Mendelian Society of Lund was founded in 1910 and except for a short break during 1912-1916 has been active ever since. In 1920, the Society started to publish Hereditas, a scientific journal in genetics. In the post-genomic era, the scope of Hereditas has evolved to include any research on genomic analysis.

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