What is an Amphibian Malformation?

Michael Lannoo

in Malformed Frogs

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520255883
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942530 | DOI:
What is an Amphibian Malformation?

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  • Zoology and Animal Sciences


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This chapter defines amphibian malformations, describes the mechanisms underlying malformations, and outlines their developmental origins. Malformation in animals means an unintended lack of symmetry, or an imbalance in structure, color, or other quality. Malformations can arise through one of three mechanisms: genetic, epigenetic, or trauma. The chapter presents evidence that most frog malformations are caused by epigenetic mechanisms. Epigenetic effects occur when genes and gene expression are normal, but some deviation from expected environmental circumstances occurs where and at the time when genes are being expressed.

Keywords: amphibian malformations; malformations; symmetry; genetic; epigenetic; trauma

Chapter.  4332 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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