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Variation and Conservation of the Development of Animal Bodies: Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Cell Biology

  1. Francoise Mazet1,
  2. Sebastian M. Shimeld2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400164

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Mazet, F. and Shimeld, S. M. 2006. Variation and Conservation of the Development of Animal Bodies: Evolutionary Developmental Biology. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, UK

  2. 2

    University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

The body (or phenotype) of a multicellular organism has two histories. One is ontogenetic, which is the development of the adult body from a fertilized egg. The other is phylogenetic, which is the evolutionary history of the organism. These two histories are fundamentally connected, as evolutionary change to the shape and size of an organism's body occurs via change in the processes regulating embryonic development, while selection on the adult phenotype determines whether such changes persist or are eradicated. Evolutionary developmental biology seeks to understand how evolutionary change in developmental processes has occurred, and how it has led over evolutionary time to the wide diversity of body forms that exist today or have existed in the past. At the core of the subject is the study of the genes that regulate development, and how change in such genes results in evolutionary change of the phenotype.

Keywords:

  • Bilaterians;
  • Clade;
  • Diploblasts;
  • Genetic toolkit;
  • Homeobox;
  • Homologs;
  • Orthologs;
  • Paralogs;
  • Promoter;
  • Pseudogenes;
  • Triploblasts