Developing chicken wings homozygous for the talpid (ta3/ta3) mutation are polydactylous and have defects in the establishment of their anteroposterior polarity. We analysed the expression domains of the posteriorly restricted homeobox Hox-4 genes in such mutant wings. The Hox-4 genes are now expressed right across the anteroposterior axis instead of being expressed just posteriorly. This correlates well with the absence of clear morphological differences between the talpid3 digits and reinforces the idea that vertebrate Hox-4 genes are involved in setting up the limb anteroposterior asymmetry.

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