Edward B Lewis (1918–2004)

  title={Edward B Lewis (1918–2004)},
  author={Rakesh K. Mishra},
  journal={Journal of Biosciences},
E B Lewis died of cancer at the age of 86 on July 21 2004. A Caltech faculty member since 1946, Lewis spent his life working on the genetics of the fruit fly. In 1995, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to our understanding of the bithorax complex (BX-C), a cluster of genes that regulate the identity of body segments in the posterior half of the thorax and abdomen of Drosophila melanogaster. Lewis graduated with a B.Sc. degree in Biostatistics from… 

The 50th anniversary of the Konopka and Benzer 1971 paper in PNAS: “Clock Mutants of Drosophila melanogaster”

  • J. Takahashi
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2021
In this classic paper, Ron and Seymour reported the isolation of three single-gene mutants in Drosophila that dramatically altered circadian rhythms in pupal eclosion and locomotor activity, leading to Konopka’s First Law.

Epigenetics as an answer to Darwin’s “special difficulty,” Part 2: natural selection of metastable epialleles in honeybee castes

Possible mechanisms for how a combination of both epigenetics and genetics, specifically, the selection of metastable epialleles, and genetic selection, allows for a combined means for selection amongst the fertile members of a species to increase colony fitness are elaborate.

Lessons on gene regulation learnt from the Drosophila melanogaster bithorax complex.

Much of what has emerged from the study of homeotic genes, the cis-elements and protein factors, have relevance across the genome in a large number of regulatory events beyond the Hox genes, and genome-wide implications in complex regulatory processes are discussed.



E. B. Lewis and the bithorax complex: part I.

The bithorax complex (BX-C), a gene cluster that controls the identities of body segments in the abdomen and posterior thorax of Drosophila, is described.

E. B. Lewis and the bithorax complex: part II. From cis-trans test to the genetic control of development.

As discussed in Part I of this Perspectives, E. B. Lewis found a series of five bithorax complex “pseudoalleles” separable by recombination and by function, with the map order: bx Cbx Ubx bxd pbx .

A gene complex controlling segmentation in Drosophila

The wild-type and mutant segmentation patterns are consistent with an antero-posterior gradient in repressor concentration along the embryo and a proximo-distal gradient along the chromosome in the affinities for repressor of each gene's cis-regulatory element.