Evolving pathways : key themes in evolutionary developmental by Giuseppe Fusco, Alessandro Minelli

By Giuseppe Fusco, Alessandro Minelli

Evolutionary developmental biology, or 'evo-devo', is the examine of the connection among evolution and improvement. Dealing in particular with the generative mechanisms of organismal shape, evo-devo is going instantly to the center of the developmental foundation of version, the uncooked fabric on which traditional choice (and random flow) can paintings. Evolving Pathways brings jointly contributions that characterize a variety of ways. issues variety from developmental genetics to comparative morphology of animals and crops alike, and in addition contain botany and palaeontology, disciplines for which the aptitude to be tested from an evo-devo viewpoint has principally been neglected earlier. Researchers and graduate scholars will locate this booklet a helpful evaluation of present examine as we commence to fill an important hole in our conception of evolutionary swap.

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Many of the new ideas on these topics were triggered by the discovery of the surprisingly high conservation of the gene regulatory apparatus in very diverse organisms. This has led to gene-based definitions of homology (Holland et al. 1996, Abouheif 1997), whereas others have pointed out the shortcomings of such reasoning (Bolker and Raff 1996, Minelli 1998). While the most notoriously conserved developmental control genes, the homeobox genes, exhibit non-homologous expression domains in vertebrate and invertebrate embryos, the reverse also applies: homologous structures can be specified by nonhomologous genes (Wray 1999).

New structural elements, skeletal parts for instance, can arise through this mode, without having been selected for, as a side-effect of the evolutionary modification of general developmental parameters (Müller 1990, Newman and Müller 2005). Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could have had a significant role in the origination of body parts and organismal form (Müller and Newman 2003, Love and Raff 2005). A related approach is the origination of innovation through environmental induction (West-Eberhard 2003).

Colchicine-induced digital loss and reduction. Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology 76, 177–197. Alberch, P. & Gale, E. A. 1985. A developmental analysis of an evolutionary trend: digital reduction in amphibians. Evolution 39, 8–23. Evo-devo as a Discipline Amundson, R. 2005. The Changing Role of the Embryo in Evolutionary Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Arthur, W. 2001. Developmental drive: an important determinant of the direction of phenotypic evolution. Evolution & Development 3, 271–278.

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