• Open Access

Neural control of gene recruitment in metazoans



Gene recruitment played a critical role in metazoan evolution. Yet, there is no consensus on whether it is an accidental event or a result of an inherent “gene recruiting” mechanism. The prevailing opinion among biologists is that gene recruitment results from random changes in genes or their regulatory regions, but the supporting evidence is poor and controversial. Herein, I present a mechanism in which gene recruitment is a neurally determined event, an adaptive response to changes in environmental conditions. In support of the hypothesis, I present evidence on the manipulative expression of genes in the central nervous system, as well as neurally determined examples of gene recruitment in transgenerational developmental plasticity and in evolution of metazoans Developmental Dynamics 240:1–8, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.