PhD candidate at the “Fonds pour la formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture (FRIA)”, Belgium.
Escaping the mouse trap: the selection of new Evo-Devo model species
Article first published online: 22 MAY 2007
Copyright © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Volume 308B, Issue 4, pages 337–346, 15 July 2007
How to Cite
Milinkovitch, M. C. and Tzika, A. (2007), Escaping the mouse trap: the selection of new Evo-Devo model species. J. Exp. Zool., 308B: 337–346. doi: 10.1002/jez.b.21180
- Issue published online: 19 JUL 2007
- Article first published online: 22 MAY 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 APR 2007
- Manuscript Revised: 28 MAR 2007
- Manuscript Received: 18 FEB 2007
- Communauté Français de Belgique. Grant Number: ARC 1164/20022770
- National Fund for Scientific Research Belgium (FNRS)
Among the many, sometimes contradictory, criteria that have been used for promoting model species, the most prominent has probably been their relevance for understanding human biology. Recently however, the debate has partly shifted from the search for evolutionary conservation (medicine-driven models) to a better understanding of the generative mechanisms underlying biological diversity (Evo-Devo-driven models). Integration of multiple disciplines, beyond developmental genetics and evolutionary molecular genetics, as well as of innovative technologies will help biologists to open the massive realm of living species to genome manipulation and phenotypic investigation. However, a consensual list of model species must still be reached for optimizing the interplay between in silico analyses and in vivo experiments, and we claim that the Evo-Devo community should play a more energetic role in this endeavor. We discuss here a few criteria and limitations of major relevance to the choice of model species for Evo-Devo studies, and promote the use of a pragmatic approach. Finally, given the difficulties related to manipulating and breeding model species, we suggest the development of Evo-Devo virtual zoos maintaining breeding colonies of a selected set of species and from which eggs or staged embryos are available on order. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 308B:337–346, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.