The T-box gene family consists of members that share a unique DNA binding domain. The best characterized T-box gene, Brachyury or T, encodes a transcription factor that plays an important role in early vertebrate development. Seven other recently described mouse T-box genes are also expressed during development. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, four T-box genes have been characterized to date. In this study, we describe three new C. elegans T-box genes, named Ce-tbx-11
, and Ce-tbx-17
were uncovered through the sequencing efforts of the C. elegans Genome Project. Ce-tbx-12
was uncovered through degenerate PCR analysis of C. elegans genomic DNA. Ce-tbx-11
are located in close proximity to the four other previously described T-box genes in the central region of chromosome III. In contrast, Ce-tbx-12
maps alone to chromosome II. Phylogenetic analysis of all known T-box domain sequences provides evidence of an ancient origin for this gene family.