Chapter

The evolution of developmental gene networks: lessons from comparative studies on holometabolous insects

Andrew D. Peel

in Animal Evolution

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199549429
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191721601 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549429.003.0016
 The evolution of developmental gene networks: lessons from comparative studies on holometabolous insects

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Recent comparative studies have revealed significant differences in the developmental gene networks operating in three holometabolous insects: the beetle Tribolium castaneum, the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis and the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This chapter discusses these differences in relation to divergent and convergent changes in cellular embryology. This chapter speculates on how segmentation gene networks could have evolved to operate in divergent embryological contexts, and highlight the role co-option might have played in this process. This chapter argues that insects represent an important example of how diversification in life history strategies between lineages can lead to divergence in the genetic and cellular mechanisms controlling the development of homologous adult structures

Keywords: Insecta; sequential segmentation; long germ development; convergent evolution; co-option of genes

Chapter.  6383 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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