> Does anyone have a good general definition of developmental control
> genes ?
i don't know if an 'official' definition exists, but my own definition,
stemming from my own work on a 'developmental control' gene, is that it is
a gene that regulates certain other downstream genes (usually in trans in
the form of a transcription factor)) to ensure they only express at
precisely defined times during the development of an organism, such as
during mesoderm induction, segment polarity, limb development, etc. these
control genes usually get switched on as a result of a signalling pathway,
and in turn regulate other downstream genes that will determine a particular
fate for the cell in which they are being expressed. examples are the
homeobox genes and the wnt genes.
hope this sheds some light...
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 N. Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
email: tutter at salk.edu