We prepared a cDNA library for a microarray from eggs of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, at the germ-band formation (24 hours after fertilization) stage. Using a microarray constructed with 2,445 ESTs, we screened gene expression profiles during germ-band formation at six specific time points in the early embryonic stages (from the unfertilized egg to the formation of abdominal leg appendages), and determined 241 of these cDNAs to represent genes that were expressed differentially during the germ-band formation stage. These differentially expressed genes grouped into two clusters. In the early and late clusters, 203 and 38 genes were upregulated, respectively. In the upregulated clusters, we isolated several genes that were associated with development and cell communication, including egalitarian, RAD23b, innexin 2, and senescence-associated protein. Northern blot hybridization revealed that the expression patterns of 14 genes had changed in each of the stages. In this study, we assessed changes in the levels of gene expression in relation to the germ-band formation stages in whole Bombyx embryos.
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