In Drosophila, loss-of-function Ultrabithorax mutations result in the posterior thoracic segments differentiating into body parts with an identity normally found in the anterior thoracic segments. When the Ultrabithorax gene was cloned, it was shown to encode a transcription factor and to be expressed only in the posterior region of the thorax. Thus, Ultrabithorax acts to specify the identity of the posterior thoracic segments. Similar genes were soon discovered in other animals, including mice and humans. You have found that mice possess two closely related genes, Hoxa7 and Hoxb4, which are orthologs (see Genetic Analysis 14.2 for definition) of Ultrabithorax. You wish to know whether the two mouse genes act to specify the identity of body segments in mice.
How will you determine where and when the mouse genes are expressed?
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