Mutations in Drosophila melanogaster that are maternally inherited and affect the development of embryos in a polarized manner. These genes are transcribed during oogenesis, and they imprint an anteroposterior pattern on the egg. The genes are grouped phenotypically into anterior genes that effect head and thoracic structures, posterior genes that define the abdominal region, and terminal genes that control the development of the acron and telson. See Chronology, 1987, Nüsslein-Volhard et al.; 1988, Driever and Nüsslein-Volhard; bicoid, cytoplasmic determinants, cytoplasmic localization, maternal effect gene, zygotic segmentation mutants.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.