The development of animal form: ontogeny, morphology, and by Alessandro Minelli

By Alessandro Minelli

Modern examine within the box of evolutionary developmental biology, or 'evo-devo', has so far been predominantly dedicated to studying easy gains of animal structure in molecular genetics phrases. significantly much less time has been spent at the exploitation of the wealth of proof and ideas to be had from conventional disciplines, resembling comparative morphology, although those conventional ways can proceed to supply a clean perception into evolutionary developmental questions. the advance of Animal shape goals to combine conventional morphological and modern molecular genetic ways and to accommodate post-embryonic improvement to boot. This method results in unconventional perspectives at the easy gains of animal association, equivalent to physique axes, symmetry, segments, physique areas, appendages and similar techniques. This e-book may be of specific curiosity to graduate scholars and researchers in evolutionary and developmental biology, in addition to to these in comparable parts of telephone biology, genetics and zoology.

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Additional resources for The development of animal form: ontogeny, morphology, and evolution

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But, in a sense, it is form that captured genes more than it is genes that created form (cf. Budd 1999). The spatially and temporally restricted patterns of expression of transcription factors and batteries of genes they control do not obscure the fact that a large fraction of all genes in a genome are expressed virtually everywhere in the organism. Neither should we discount this fact as developmentally irrelevant, by qualifying this silent majority as an indifferent background of housekeeping genes and the like, with no consequence for morphogenesis.

Second, animals are gametogamic rather than gamontogamic as ciliates (and other protists) are. That is, their basic sexual event is the fusion – and morphological modification – of two gametes, rather than the exchange of gametic nuclei between two gamonts (conjugants) without disruption of their cellular integrity, the complex cortical pattern in particular. Nevertheless, there are situations in which conservation and transmission of cellular and supracellular structural patterns may be expected in animals as well.

This mechanism 24 The Development of Animal Form may have an extremely important role in raising the diversity in the proteomes. It may help understand why the number of genes in an organism’s genome does not correlate with its morphological complexity (Graveley 2001), irrespective of the metrics we use to estimate the latter. Statements to the contrary notwithstanding, the role of genes in morphogenesis is likely always to be an indirect one. Thus, there is nothing different from the non-specific effects observed in transgenic animals; for example, in the cohn salmon where the insertion of a gene construct caused significant changes at once in the shape of the cranium, abdomen, and caudal peduncle (Ostenfeld, Mclean and Devlin 1998).

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