Some stickleback fish develop protective spines, and other stickleback fish are spineless. Spine development is controlled by the expression of a gene known as Pitx1. The spineless phenotype is due to a mutation in Pitx1 that results in no expression of Pitx1 during development in regions where spines would otherwise form. When scientists compared the Pitx1 coding sequence in spined and spineless fish, they found this sequence was the same in both types of fish. Propose plausible hypotheses for the location of this mutation and for how it alters spine development.
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