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Sample records for evolutionary developmental biology

  1. Evolutionary developmental biology its roots and characteristics.

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2011-09-01

    The rise of evolutionary developmental biology was not the progressive isolation and characterization of developmental genes and gene networks. Many obstacles had to be overcome: the idea that all genes were more or less involved in development; the evidence that developmental processes in insects had nothing in common with those of vertebrates. Different lines of research converged toward the creation of evolutionary developmental biology, giving this field of research its present heterogeneity. This does not prevent all those working in the field from sharing the conviction that a precise characterization of evolutionary variations is required to fully understand the evolutionary process. Some evolutionary developmental biologists directly challenge the Modern Synthesis. I propose some ways to reconcile these apparently opposed visions of evolution. The turbulence seen in evolutionary developmental biology reflects the present entry of history into biology.

  2. The morphogenesis of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Scott F

    2003-01-01

    The early studies of evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) come from several sources. Tributaries flowing into Evo-Devo came from such disciplines as embryology, developmental genetics, evolutionary biology, ecology, paleontology, systematics, medical embryology and mathematical modeling. This essay will trace one of the major pathways, that from evolutionary embryology to Evo-Devo and it will show the interactions of this pathway with two other sources of Evo-Devo: ecological developmental biology and medical developmental biology. Together, these three fields are forming a more inclusive evolutionary developmental biology that is revitalizing and providing answers to old and important questions involving the formation of biodiversity on Earth. The phenotype of Evo-Devo is limited by internal constraints on what could be known given the methods and equipment of the time and it has been framed by external factors that include both academic and global politics.

  3. Michael Akam and the rise of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Stern, David L; Dawes-Hoang, Rachel E

    2010-01-01

    Michael Akam has been awarded the 2007 Kowalevsky medal for his many research accomplishments in the area of evolutionary developmental biology. We highlight three tributaries of Michaels contribution to evolutionary developmental biology. First, he has made major contributions to our understanding of development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Second, he has maintained a consistent focus on several key problems in evolutionary developmental biology, including the evolving role of Hox genes in arthropods and, more recently, the evolution of segmentation mechanisms. Third, Michael has written a series of influential reviews that have integrated progress in developmental biology into an evolutionary perspective. Michael has also made a large impact on the field through his effective mentorship style, his selfless promotion of younger colleagues, and his leadership of the University Museum of Zoology at Cambridge and the European community of evolutionary developmental biologists.

  4. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: annelids.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, David E K

    2012-08-01

    Annelids (the segmented worms) have a long history in studies of animal developmental biology, particularly with regards to their cleavage patterns during early development and their neurobiology. With the relatively recent reorganisation of the phylogeny of the animal kingdom, and the distinction of the super-phyla Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa, an extra stimulus for studying this phylum has arisen. As one of the major phyla within Lophotrochozoa, Annelida are playing an important role in deducing the developmental biology of the last common ancestor of the protostomes and deuterostomes, an animal from which >98% of all described animal species evolved.

  5. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: hemichordates.

    PubMed

    Röttinger, Eric; Lowe, Christopher J

    2012-07-01

    Hemichordates are a deuterostome phylum, the sister group to echinoderms, and closely related to chordates. They have thus been used to gain insights into the origins of deuterostome and chordate body plans. Developmental studies of this group have a long and distinguished history. Recent improvements in animal husbandry, functional tool development and genomic resources have resulted in novel developmental data from several species in this group. In this Primer, we introduce representative hemichordate species with contrasting modes of development and summarize recent findings that are beginning to yield important insights into deuterostome developmental mechanisms.

  6. Evolutionary biology: adaptive developmental plasticity in snakes.

    PubMed

    Aubret, Fabien; Shine, Richard; Bonnet, Xavier

    2004-09-16

    The morphology of organisms is generally well matched to their environment, presumably because expression of their genes is tailored either at the population or the individual level to suit local conditions: for example, snake populations that persistently encounter large prey may accumulate gene mutations that specify a large head size, or head growth may be increased in individual snakes to meet local demands (adaptive developmental plasticity). Here we test the relative contributions of genetics and environment to the jaw sizes of two tiger snake populations: one that consumes small prey on the mainland, and an island population that relies on larger prey and has a larger jaw size. Although the idea of adaptive plasticity in response to environmental pressures is controversial, we find that both factors influence the difference in jaw size between the two populations, and the influence of developmental plasticity is greater in the island population.

  7. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: sea urchins

    PubMed Central

    McClay, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Embryos of the echinoderms, especially those of sea urchins and sea stars, have been studied as model organisms for over 100 years. The simplicity of their early development, and the ease of experimentally perturbing this development, provides an excellent platform for mechanistic studies of cell specification and morphogenesis. As a result, echinoderms have contributed significantly to our understanding of many developmental mechanisms, including those that govern the structure and design of gene regulatory networks, those that direct cell lineage specification, and those that regulate the dynamic morphogenetic events that shape the early embryo. PMID:21652646

  8. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Cnidaria.

    PubMed

    Technau, Ulrich; Steele, Robert E

    2011-04-01

    There is growing interest in the use of cnidarians (corals, sea anemones, jellyfish and hydroids) to investigate the evolution of key aspects of animal development, such as the formation of the third germ layer (mesoderm), the nervous system and the generation of bilaterality. The recent sequencing of the Nematostella and Hydra genomes, and the establishment of methods for manipulating gene expression, have inspired new research efforts using cnidarians. Here, we present the main features of cnidarian models and their advantages for research, and summarize key recent findings using these models that have informed our understanding of the evolution of the developmental processes underlying metazoan body plan formation.

  9. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Cnidaria

    PubMed Central

    Technau, Ulrich; Steele, Robert E.

    2011-01-01

    There is growing interest in the use of cnidarians (corals, sea anemones, jellyfish and hydroids) to investigate the evolution of key aspects of animal development, such as the formation of the third germ layer (mesoderm), the nervous system and the generation of bilaterality. The recent sequencing of the Nematostella and Hydra genomes, and the establishment of methods for manipulating gene expression, have inspired new research efforts using cnidarians. Here, we present the main features of cnidarian models and their advantages for research, and summarize key recent findings using these models that have informed our understanding of the evolution of the developmental processes underlying metazoan body plan formation. PMID:21389047

  10. Developmental dynamics: toward a biologically plausible evolutionary psychology.

    PubMed

    Lickliter, Robert; Honeycutt, Hunter

    2003-11-01

    There has been a conceptual revolution in the biological sciences over the past several decades. Evidence from genetics, embryology, and developmental biology has converged to offer a more epigenetic, contingent, and dynamic view of how organisms develop. Despite these advances, arguments for the heuristic value of a gene-centered, predeterministic approach to the study of human behavior and development have become increasingly evident in the psychological sciences during this time. In this article, the authors review recent advances in genetics, embryology, and developmental biology that have transformed contemporary developmental and evolutionary theory and explore how these advances challenge gene-centered explanations of human behavior that ignore the complex, highly coordinated system of regulatory dynamics involved in development and evolution.

  11. Reframing developmental biology and building evolutionary theory's new synthesis.

    PubMed

    Tauber, Alfred I

    2010-01-01

    Gilbert and Epel present a new approach to developmental biology: embryogenesis must be understood within the full context of the organism's environment. Instead of an insular embryo following a genetic blueprint, this revised program maintains that embryogenesis is subject to inputs from the environment that generate novel genetic variation with dynamic consequences for development. Beyond allelic variation of structural genes and of regulatory loci, plasticity-derived epigenetic variation completes the triad of the major types of variation required for evolution. Developmental biology and ecology, disciplines that have previously been regarded as distinct, are presented here as fully integrated under the rubric of "eco-devo," and from this perspective, which highlights how the environment not only selects variation, it helps construct it, another synthesis with evolutionary biology must also be made, "eco-evo-devo." This second integration has enormous implications for expanding evolution theory, inasmuch as the Modern Synthesis (Provine 1971), which combined classical genetics and Darwinism in the mid-20th century, did not account for the role of development in evolution. The eco-evo-devo synthesis thus portends a major theoretical inflection in evolutionary biology. Following a description of these scientific developments, comment is offered as to how this new integrated approach might be understood within the larger shifts in contemporary biology.

  12. Driving developmental and evolutionary change: A systems biology view.

    PubMed

    Bard, Jonathan

    2013-04-01

    Embryonic development is underpinned by ∼50 core processes that drive morphogenesis, growth, patterning and differentiation, and each is the functional output of a complex molecular network. Processes are thus the natural and parsimonious link between genotype and phenotype and the obvious focus for any discussion of biological change. Here, the implications of this approach are explored. One is that many features of developmental change can be modeled as mathematical graphs, or sets of connected triplets of the general form . In these, the verbs (edges) are the outputs of the processes that drive change and the nouns (nodes) are the time-dependent states of biological entities (from molecules to tissues). Such graphs help unpick the multi-level complexity of developmental phenomena and may help suggest new experiments. Another comes from analyzing the effect of mutation that lead to tinkering with the dynamic properties of these processes and to congenital abnormalities; if these changes are both inherited and advantageous, they become evolutionary modifications. In this context, protein networks often represents what classical evolutionary genetics sees as genes, and the realization that traits reflect the output processes of complex networks, particularly for growth, patterning and pigmentation, rather than anything simpler clarifies some problems that the evolutionary synthesis of the 1950s has found hard to solve. In the wider context, most processes are used many times in development and cooperate to produce tissue modules (bones, branching duct systems, muscles etc.). Their underlying generative networks can thus be thought of as genomic modules or subroutines.

  13. The Comparative Organismal Approach in Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Insights from Ascidians and Cavefish.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, William R

    2016-01-01

    Important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology have been made using the comparative organismal approach. As examples, I describe insights obtained from studies of Molgula ascidians and Astyanax cavefish.

  14. Charles Darwin and the Origins of Plant Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Friedman, William E.; Diggle, Pamela K.

    2011-01-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form. PMID:21515816

  15. Charles Darwin and the origins of plant evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Friedman, William E; Diggle, Pamela K

    2011-04-01

    Much has been written of the early history of comparative embryology and its influence on the emergence of an evolutionary developmental perspective. However, this literature, which dates back nearly a century, has been focused on metazoans, without acknowledgment of the contributions of comparative plant morphologists to the creation of a developmental view of biodiversity. We trace the origin of comparative plant developmental morphology from its inception in the eighteenth century works of Wolff and Goethe, through the mid nineteenth century discoveries of the general principles of leaf and floral organ morphogenesis. Much like the stimulus that von Baer provided as a nonevolutionary comparative embryologist to the creation of an evolutionary developmental view of animals, the comparative developmental studies of plant morphologists were the basis for the first articulation of the concept that plant (namely floral) evolution results from successive modifications of ontogeny. Perhaps most surprisingly, we show that the first person to carefully read and internalize the remarkable advances in the understanding of plant morphogenesis in the 1840s and 1850s is none other than Charles Darwin, whose notebooks, correspondence, and (then) unpublished manuscripts clearly demonstrate that he had discovered the developmental basis for the evolutionary transformation of plant form.

  16. Integrating Functional, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology into Biology Curricula

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haave, Neil

    2012-01-01

    A complete understanding of life involves how organisms are able to function in their environment and how they arise. Understanding how organisms arise involves both their evolution and development. Thus to completely comprehend living things, biology must study their function, development and evolution. Previous proposals for standardized…

  17. Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) Research in Latin America.

    PubMed

    Marcellini, Sylvain; González, Favio; Sarrazin, Andres F; Pabón-Mora, Natalia; Benítez, Mariana; Piñeyro-Nelson, Alma; Rezende, Gustavo L; Maldonado, Ernesto; Schneider, Patricia Neiva; Grizante, Mariana B; Da Fonseca, Rodrigo Nunes; Vergara-Silva, Francisco; Suaza-Gaviria, Vanessa; Zumajo-Cardona, Cecilia; Zattara, Eduardo E; Casasa, Sofia; Suárez-Baron, Harold; Brown, Federico D

    2017-01-01

    Famous for its blind cavefish and Darwin's finches, Latin America is home to some of the richest biodiversity hotspots of our planet. The Latin American fauna and flora inspired and captivated naturalists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including such notable pioneers such as Fritz Müller, Florentino Ameghino, and Léon Croizat who made a significant contribution to the study of embryology and evolutionary thinking. But, what are the historical and present contributions of the Latin American scientific community to Evo-Devo? Here, we provide the first comprehensive overview of the Evo-Devo laboratories based in Latin America and describe current lines of research based on endemic species, focusing on body plans and patterning, systematics, physiology, computational modeling approaches, ecology, and domestication. Literature searches reveal that Evo-Devo in Latin America is still in its early days; while showing encouraging indicators of productivity, it has not stabilized yet, because it relies on few and sparsely distributed laboratories. Coping with the rapid changes in national scientific policies and contributing to solve social and health issues specific to each region are among the main challenges faced by Latin American researchers. The 2015 inaugural meeting of the Pan-American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology played a pivotal role in bringing together Latin American researchers eager to initiate and consolidate regional and worldwide collaborative networks. Such networks will undoubtedly advance research on the extremely high genetic and phenotypic biodiversity of Latin America, bound to be an almost infinite source of amazement and fascinating findings for the Evo-Devo community.

  18. A semiotic framework for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Eugenio

    2007-01-01

    This work aims at constructing a semiotic framework for an expanded evolutionary synthesis grounded on Peirce's universal categories and the six space/time/function relations [Taborsky, E., 2004. The nature of the sign as a WFF--a well-formed formula, SEED J. (Semiosis Evol. Energy Dev.) 4 (4), 5-14] that integrate the Lamarckian (internal/external) and Darwinian (individual/population) cuts. According to these guide lines, it is proposed an attempt to formalize developmental systems theory by using the notion of evolving developing agents (EDA) that provides an internalist model of a general transformative tendency driven by organism's need to cope with environmental uncertainty. Development and evolution are conceived as non-programmed open-ended processes of information increase where EDA reach a functional compromise between: (a) increments of phenotype's uniqueness (stability and specificity) and (b) anticipation to environmental changes. Accordingly, changes in mutual information content between the phenotype/environment drag subsequent changes in mutual information content between genotype/phenotype and genotype/environment at two interwoven scales: individual life cycle (ontogeny) and species time (phylogeny), respectively. Developmental terminal additions along with increment minimization of developmental steps must be positively selected.

  19. Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) of cestodes.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Uriel

    2017-09-01

    Cestodes (tapeworms) have complex adaptations to their obligatory parasitic life-style. Among these adaptations, they show many evolutionary innovations in their development, including complex life-cycles with multiple hosts and life-stages, several independent origins of asexual reproduction, and the evolution of segmentation as a mean to generate massive reproductive output. Therefore, cestodes offer many opportunities for the investigation of the evolutionary origins of developmental novelties (evo-devo). However, cestodes have not been exploited as major models for evo-devo research due to the considerable technical difficulties involved in their study. In this review, a panoramic view is given of classical aspects, methods and hypothesis of cestode development, together with recent advances in phylogenetics, genomics, culture methods, and comparative analysis of cestode gene expression. Together with the availability of powerful models for related free-living flatworms, these developments should encourage the incorporation of these fascinating parasites into the first-line of evo-devo research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. The evolutionary developmental biology of tinkering: an introduction to the challenge.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Daniel E; Hall, Brian K

    2007-01-01

    Recent developments in evolutionary biology have conflicting implications for our understanding of the developmental bases of microevolutionary processes. On the one hand, Darwinian theory predicts that evolution occurs mostly gradually and incrementally through selection on small-scale, heritable changes in phenotype within populations. On the other hand, many discoveries in evolutionary developmental biology--quite a few based on comparisons of distantly related model organisms--suggest that relatively simple transformations of developmental pathways can lead to dramatic, rapid change in phenotype. Here I review the history of and bases for gradualist versus punctuationalist views from a developmental perspective, and propose a framework with which to reconcile them. Notably, while tinkering with developmental pathways can underlie large-scale transformations in body plan, the phenotypic effect of these changes is often modulated by the complexity of the genetic and epigenetic contexts in which they develop. Thus the phenotypic effects of mutations of potentially large effect can manifest themselves rapidly, but they are more likely to emerge more incrementally over evolutionary time via transitional forms as natural selection within populations acts on their expression. To test these hypotheses, and to better understand how developmental shifts underlie microevolutionary change, future research needs to be directed at understanding how complex developmental networks, both genetic and epigenetic, structure the phenotypic effects of particular mutations within populations of organisms.

  1. Incorporating tree-thinking and evolutionary time scale into developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro; Feiner, Nathalie; Keeley, Sean D; Hara, Yuichiro

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic approaches are indispensable in any comparative molecular study involving multiple species. These approaches are in increasing demand as the amount and availability of DNA sequence information continues to increase exponentially, even for organisms that were previously not extensively studied. Without the sound application of phylogenetic concepts and knowledge, one can be misled when attempting to infer ancestral character states as well as the timing and order of evolutionary events, both of which are frequently exerted in evolutionary developmental biology. The ignorance of phylogenetic approaches can also impact non-evolutionary studies and cause misidentification of the target gene or protein to be examined in functional characterization. This review aims to promote tree-thinking in evolutionary conjecture and stress the importance of a sense of time scale in cross-species comparisons, in order to enhance the understanding of phylogenetics in all biological fields including developmental biology. To this end, molecular phylogenies of several developmental regulatory genes, including those denoted as "cryptic pan-vertebrate genes", are introduced as examples. © 2016 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  2. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students’ Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo-devo.” To assist in efforts to improve evo-devo instruction among undergraduate biology majors, we designed a concept inventory (CI) for evolutionary developmental biology, the EvoDevoCI. The CI measures student understanding of six core evo-devo concepts using four scenarios and 11 multiple-choice items, all inspired by authentic scientific examples. Distracters were designed to represent the common conceptual difficulties students have with each evo-devo concept. The tool was validated by experts and administered at four institutions to 1191 students during preliminary (n = 652) and final (n = 539) field trials. We used student responses to evaluate the readability, difficulty, discriminability, validity, and reliability of the EvoDevoCI, which included items ranging in difficulty from 0.22–0.55 and in discriminability from 0.19–0.38. Such measures suggest the EvoDevoCI is an effective tool for assessing student understanding of evo-devo concepts and the prevalence of associated common conceptual difficulties among both novice and advanced undergraduate biology majors. PMID:24297293

  3. The EvoDevoCI: a concept inventory for gauging students' understanding of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Perez, Kathryn E; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary developmental biology, or "evo-devo." To assist in efforts to improve evo-devo instruction among undergraduate biology majors, we designed a concept inventory (CI) for evolutionary developmental biology, the EvoDevoCI. The CI measures student understanding of six core evo-devo concepts using four scenarios and 11 multiple-choice items, all inspired by authentic scientific examples. Distracters were designed to represent the common conceptual difficulties students have with each evo-devo concept. The tool was validated by experts and administered at four institutions to 1191 students during preliminary (n = 652) and final (n = 539) field trials. We used student responses to evaluate the readability, difficulty, discriminability, validity, and reliability of the EvoDevoCI, which included items ranging in difficulty from 0.22-0.55 and in discriminability from 0.19-0.38. Such measures suggest the EvoDevoCI is an effective tool for assessing student understanding of evo-devo concepts and the prevalence of associated common conceptual difficulties among both novice and advanced undergraduate biology majors.

  4. The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Moczek, Armin P; Sears, Karen E; Stollewerk, Angelika; Wittkopp, Patricia J; Diggle, Pamela; Dworkin, Ian; Ledon-Rettig, Cristina; Matus, David Q; Roth, Siegfried; Abouheif, Ehab; Brown, Federico D; Chiu, Chi-Hua; Cohen, C Sarah; Tomaso, Anthony W De; Gilbert, Scott F; Hall, Brian; Love, Alan C; Lyons, Deirdre C; Sanger, Thomas J; Smith, Joel; Specht, Chelsea; Vallejo-Marin, Mario; Extavour, Cassandra G

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution, Development, Paleontology, and Neurobiology to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Human Diseases, Ecology, Agriculture and Science Education, and lastly, Evolutionary Developmental Biology itself-and discuss why evo-devo is uniquely situated to substantially improve our ability to find meaningful answers to these fundamental questions. We posit that the tools, concepts, and ways of thinking developed by evo-devo have profound potential to advance, integrate, and unify biological sciences as well as inform policy decisions and illuminate science education. We look to the next generation of evolutionary developmental biologists to help shape this process as we confront the scientific challenges of the 21st century. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum.

    PubMed

    Hilbrant, Maarten; Damen, Wim G M; McGregor, Alistair P

    2012-08-01

    Spiders belong to the chelicerates, which is an arthropod group that branches basally from myriapods, crustaceans and insects. Spiders are thus useful models with which to investigate whether aspects of development are ancestral or derived with respect to the arthropod common ancestor. Moreover, they serve as an important reference point for comparison with the development of other metazoans. Therefore, studies of spider development have made a major contribution to advancing our understanding of the evolution of development. Much of this knowledge has come from studies of the common house spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Here, we describe how the growing number of experimental tools and resources available to study Parasteatoda development have provided novel insights into the evolution of developmental regulation and have furthered our understanding of metazoan body plan evolution.

  6. Hierarchical phylogenetics as a quantitative analytical framework for evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Serb, Jeanne M; Oakley, Todd H

    2005-11-01

    Phylogenetics has inherent utility in evolutionary developmental biology (EDB) as it is an established methodology for estimating evolutionary relationships and for making comparisons between levels of biological organization. However, explicit phylogenetic methods generally have been limited to two levels of organization in EDB-the species and the gene. We demonstrate that phylogenetic methods can be applied broadly to other organizational levels, such as morphological structures or cell types, to identify evolutionary patterns. We present examples at and between different hierarchical levels of organization to address questions central to EDB. We argue that this application of "hierarchical phylogenetics" can be a unifying analytical approach to the field of EDB. Copyright (c) 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S; Hossfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a "universal acid" (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research--evolutionary developmental biology--has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin's Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the "Jena school" of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about "biometabolic modi" are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research--heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the synthetic theory of

  8. Evolutionary developmental biology: its concepts and history with a focus on Russian and German contributions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsson, Lennart; Levit, Georgy S.; Hoßfeld, Uwe

    2010-11-01

    Evolutionary theory has been likened to a “universal acid” (Dennett 1995) that eats its way into more and more areas of science. Recently, developmental biology has been infused by evolutionary concepts and perspectives, and a new field of research—evolutionary developmental biology—has been created and is often called EvoDevo for short. However, this is not the first attempt to make a synthesis between these two areas of biology. In contrast, beginning right after the publication of Darwin’s Origin in 1859, Ernst Haeckel formulated his biogenetic law in 1872, famously stating that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Haeckel was in his turn influenced by pre-Darwinian thinkers such as Karl Ernst von Baer, who had noted that earlier developmental stages show similarities not seen in the adults. In this review, written for an audience of non-specialists, we first give an overview of the history of EvoDevo, especially the tradition emanating from Haeckel and other comparative embryologists and morphologists, which has often been neglected in discussions about the history of EvoDevo and evolutionary biology. Here we emphasize contributions from Russian and German scientists to compensate for the Anglo-American bias in the literature. In Germany, the direct influence of Ernst Haeckel was felt particularly in Jena, where he spent his entire career as a professor, and we give an overview of the “Jena school” of evolutionary morphology, with protagonists such as Oscar Hertwig, Ludwig Plate, and Victor Franz, who all developed ideas that we would nowadays think of as belonging to EvoDevo. Franz ideas about “biometabolic modi” are similar to those of a Russian comparative morphologist that visited Jena repeatedly, A. N. Sewertzoff, who made important contributions to what we now call heterochrony research—heterochrony meaning changes in the relative timing of developmental events. His student I. I. Schmalhausen became an important contributor to the

  9. How Single-Cell Genomics Is Changing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Marioni, John C; Arendt, Detlev

    2017-08-16

    The recent flood of single-cell data not only boosts our knowledge of cells and cell types, but also provides new insight into development and evolution from a cellular perspective. For example, assaying the genomes of multiple cells during development reveals developmental lineage trees-the kinship lineage-whereas cellular transcriptomes inform us about the regulatory state of cells and their gradual restriction in potency-the Waddington lineage. Beyond that, the comparison of single-cell data across species allows evolutionary changes to be tracked at all stages of development from the zygote, via different kinds of stem cells, to the differentiating cells. We discuss recent insights into the evolution of stem cells and initial attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary cell type tree of the mammalian forebrain, for example, by the comparative analysis of neuron types in the mesencephalic floor. These studies illustrate the immense potential of single-cell genomics to open up a new era in developmental and evolutionary research. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology Volume 33 is October 6, 2017. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  10. Getting to evo-devo: concepts and challenges for students learning evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P; Price, Rebecca M; Perez, Kathryn E

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology.

  11. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we find that instruction often addresses development cursorily, with most of the treatment embedded within instruction on evolution. Based on results of surveys and interviews with students, we suggest that teaching core concepts (CCs) within a framework that integrates supporting concepts (SCs) from both evolutionary and developmental biology can improve evo-devo instruction. We articulate CCs, SCs, and foundational concepts (FCs) that provide an integrative framework to help students master evo-devo concepts and to help educators address specific conceptual difficulties their students have with evo-devo. We then identify the difficulties that undergraduates have with these concepts. Most of these difficulties are of two types: those that are ubiquitous among students in all areas of biology and those that stem from an inadequate understanding of FCs from developmental, cell, and molecular biology. PMID:24006397

  12. Toward a synthesis of developmental biology with evolutionary theory and ecology.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Ralf J; Mayer, Melanie G

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary conservation of developmental mechanisms is a truism in biology, but few attempts have been made to integrate development with evolutionary theory and ecology. To work toward such a synthesis, we summarize studies in the nematode model Pristionchus pacificus, focusing on the development of the dauer, a stress-resistant, alternative larval stage. Integrative approaches combining molecular and genetic principles of development with natural variation and ecological studies in wild populations have identified a key role for a developmental switch mechanism in dauer development and evolution, one that involves the nuclear hormone receptor DAF-12. DAF-12 is a crucial regulator and convergence point for different signaling inputs, and its function is conserved among free-living and parasitic nematodes. Furthermore, DAF-12 is the target of regulatory loops that rely on novel or fast-evolving components to control the intraspecific competition of dauer larvae. We propose developmental switches as paradigms for understanding the integration of development, evolution, and ecology at the molecular level.

  13. Developmental evolutionary biology of the vertebrate ear: conserving mechanoelectric transduction and developmental pathways in diverging morphologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.

    2000-01-01

    This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.

  14. Developmental evolutionary biology of the vertebrate ear: conserving mechanoelectric transduction and developmental pathways in diverging morphologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.

    2000-01-01

    This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.

  15. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F.; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right. PMID:26579190

  16. Sequenced genomes and rapidly emerging technologies pave the way for conifer evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Uddenberg, Daniel; Akhter, Shirin; Ramachandran, Prashanth; Sundström, Jens F; Carlsbecker, Annelie

    2015-01-01

    Conifers, Ginkgo, cycads and gnetophytes comprise the four groups of extant gymnosperms holding a unique position of sharing common ancestry with the angiosperms. Comparative studies of gymnosperms and angiosperms are the key to a better understanding of ancient seed plant morphologies, how they have shifted over evolution to shape modern day species, and how the genes governing these morphologies have evolved. However, conifers and other gymnosperms have been notoriously difficult to study due to their long generation times, inaccessibility to genetic experimentation and unavailable genome sequences. Now, with three draft genomes from spruces and pines, rapid advances in next generation sequencing methods for genome wide expression analyses, and enhanced methods for genetic transformation, we are much better equipped to address a number of key evolutionary questions relating to seed plant evolution. In this mini-review we highlight recent progress in conifer developmental biology relevant to evo-devo questions. We discuss how genome sequence data and novel techniques might allow us to explore genetic variation and naturally occurring conifer mutants, approaches to reduce long generation times to allow for genetic studies in conifers, and other potential upcoming research avenues utilizing current and emergent techniques. Results from developmental studies of conifers and other gymnosperms in comparison to those in angiosperms will provide information to trace core molecular developmental control tool kits of ancestral seed plants, but foremost they will greatly improve our understanding of the biology of conifers and other gymnosperms in their own right.

  17. Rupert Riedl and the re-synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology: body plans and evolvability.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Günter P; Laubichler, Manfred D

    2004-01-15

    This paper reviews the scientific career of Rupert Riedl and his contributions to evolutionary biology. Rupert Riedl, a native of Vienna, Austria, began his career as a marine biologist who made important contributions to the systematics and anatomy of major invertebrate groups, as well as to marine ecology. When he assumed a professorship at the University of North Carolina in 1968, the predominant thinking in evolutionary biology focused on population genetics, to the virtual exclusion of most of the rest of biology. In this atmosphere Riedl developed his "systems theory" of evolution, which emphasizes the role of functional and developmental integration in limiting and enabling adaptive evolution by natural selection. The main objective of this theory is to account for the observed patterns of morphological evolution, such as the conservation of body plans. In contrast to other "alternative" theories of evolution, Riedl never denied the importance of natural selection as the driving force of evolution, but thought it necessary to contextualize natural selection with the organismal boundary conditions of adaptation. In Riedl's view development is the most important factor besides natural selection in shaping the pattern and processes of morphological evolution.

  18. Species diversity vs. morphological disparity in the light of evolutionary developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Background Two indicators of a clade’s success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often characterized by key innovations that often, but not necessarily, coincide with their diagnostic apomorphies. In terms of their contribution to speciation, apomorphies are either permissive (e.g. flightlessness) or generative (e.g. nectariferous spurs). Scope Except for Drosophila, virtually no genus among those with the highest diversity or disparity includes species currently studied as model species in developmental genetics or evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). An evo-devo approach is, however, potentially important to understand how diversity and disparity could rapidly increase in the largest genera currently accepted by taxonomists. The most promising directions for future research and a set of key questions to be addressed are presented in this review. Conclusions From an evo-devo perspective, the evolution of clades with high diversity and/or disparity can be addressed from three main perspectives: (1) evolvability, in terms of release from previous constraints and of the presence of genetic or developmental conditions favouring multiple parallel occurrences of a given evolutionary transition and its reversal; (2) phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of speciation; and (3) modularity, heterochrony and a coupling between the complexity of the life cycle and the evolution of diversity and disparity in a clade. This simple preliminary analysis suggests a set of topics that deserve priority for scrutiny, including the possible role of saltational evolution in the origination of high diversity and/or disparity, the predictability of morphological evolution following release from a former constraint, and

  19. Evolutionary and Developmental Modules

    PubMed Central

    Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P.; d’Avella, Andrea; Zelik, Karl E.; Zago, Myrka

    2013-01-01

    The identification of biological modules at the systems level often follows top-down decomposition of a task goal, or bottom-up decomposition of multidimensional data arrays into basic elements or patterns representing shared features. These approaches traditionally have been applied to mature, fully developed systems. Here we review some results from two other perspectives on modularity, namely the developmental and evolutionary perspective. There is growing evidence that modular units of development were highly preserved and recombined during evolution. We first consider a few examples of modules well identifiable from morphology. Next we consider the more difficult issue of identifying functional developmental modules. We dwell especially on modular control of locomotion to argue that the building blocks used to construct different locomotor behaviors are similar across several animal species, presumably related to ancestral neural networks of command. A recurrent theme from comparative studies is that the developmental addition of new premotor modules underlies the postnatal acquisition and refinement of several different motor behaviors in vertebrates. PMID:23730285

  20. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  1. The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

    2013-01-01

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary…

  2. Ancestor of the new archetypal biology: Goethe's dynamic typology as a model for contemporary evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Riegner, Mark F

    2013-12-01

    As understood historically, typological thinking has no place in evolutionary biology since its conceptual framework is viewed as incompatible with population thinking. In this article, I propose that what I describe as dynamic typological thinking has been confused with, and has been overshadowed by, a static form of typological thinking. This conflation results from an inability to grasp dynamic typological thinking due to the overlooked requirement to engage our cognitive activity in an unfamiliar way. Thus, analytical thinking alone is unsuited to comprehend the nature of dynamic typological thinking. Over 200 years ago, J. W. von Goethe, in his Metamorphosis of Plants (1790) and other writings, introduced a dynamic form of typological thinking that has been traditionally misunderstood and misrepresented. I describe in detail Goethe's phenomenological methodology and its contemporary value in understanding morphological patterns in living organisms. Furthermore, contrary to the implications of static typological thinking, dynamic typological thinking is perfectly compatible with evolutionary dynamics and, if rightly understood, can contribute significantly to the still emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo).

  3. Species diversity vs. morphological disparity in the light of evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Minelli, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    Two indicators of a clade's success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often characterized by key innovations that often, but not necessarily, coincide with their diagnostic apomorphies. In terms of their contribution to speciation, apomorphies are either permissive (e.g. flightlessness) or generative (e.g. nectariferous spurs). Except for Drosophila, virtually no genus among those with the highest diversity or disparity includes species currently studied as model species in developmental genetics or evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). An evo-devo approach is, however, potentially important to understand how diversity and disparity could rapidly increase in the largest genera currently accepted by taxonomists. The most promising directions for future research and a set of key questions to be addressed are presented in this review. From an evo-devo perspective, the evolution of clades with high diversity and/or disparity can be addressed from three main perspectives: (1) evolvability, in terms of release from previous constraints and of the presence of genetic or developmental conditions favouring multiple parallel occurrences of a given evolutionary transition and its reversal; (2) phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of speciation; and (3) modularity, heterochrony and a coupling between the complexity of the life cycle and the evolution of diversity and disparity in a clade. This simple preliminary analysis suggests a set of topics that deserve priority for scrutiny, including the possible role of saltational evolution in the origination of high diversity and/or disparity, the predictability of morphological evolution following release from a former constraint, and the extent and the possible

  4. Fluctuating asymmetry and developmental instability in evolutionary biology: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Dongen, S V

    2006-11-01

    The role of developmental instability (DI), as measured by fluctuating asymmetry (FA), in evolutionary biology has been the focus of a wealth of research for more than half a century. In spite of this long period and many published papers, our current state of knowledge reviewed here only allows us to conclude that patterns are heterogeneous and that very little is known about the underlying causes of this heterogeneity. In addition, the statistical properties of FA as a measure of DI are only poorly grasped because of a general lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms that drive DI. If we want to avoid that this area of research becomes abandoned, more efforts should be made to understand the observed heterogeneity, and attempts should be made to develop a unifying statistical protocol. More specifically, and perhaps most importantly, it is argued here that more attention should be paid to the usefulness of FA as a measure of DI since many factors might blur this relationship. Furthermore, the genetic architecture, associations with fitness and the importance of compensatory growth should be investigated under a variety of stress situations. In addition, more focus should be directed to the underlying mechanisms of DI as well as how these processes map to the observable phenotype. These insights could yield more efficient statistical models and a unified approach to the analysis of patterns in FA and DI. The study of both DI and canalization is indispensable to obtain better insights in their possible common origin, especially because both have been suggested to play a role in both micro- and macro-evolutionary processes.

  5. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  6. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  7. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic effects that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of adults. An evolutionary developmental perspective includes an appreciation of comparative research and we, among others, argue that contrasting the cognition of humans with that of nonhuman primates can provide a framework with which to understand how human cognitive abilities and intelligence evolved. Furthermore, we argue that several aspects of childhood (e.g., play and immature cognition) serve both as deferred adaptations as well as imparting immediate benefits. Intense selection pressure was surely exerted on childhood over human evolutionary history and, as a result, neglecting to consider the early developmental period of children when studying their later adulthood produces an incomplete picture of the evolved adaptations expressed through human behavior and cognition.

  8. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we…

  9. Getting to Evo-Devo: Concepts and Challenges for Students Learning Evolutionary Developmental Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; Terry, Mark; French, Donald P.; Price, Rebecca M.; Perez, Kathryn E.

    2013-01-01

    To examine how well biology majors have achieved the necessary foundation in evolution, numerous studies have examined how students learn natural selection. However, no studies to date have examined how students learn developmental aspects of evolution (evo-devo). Although evo-devo plays an increasing role in undergraduate biology curricula, we…

  10. The future of Evo-Devo: the inaugural meeting of the Pan American Society for evolutionary developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Lesoway, Maryna P

    2016-01-01

    What is the future of evolutionary developmental biology? This question and more were discussed at the inaugural meeting for the Pan American Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology, held August 5-9, 2015, in Berkeley, California, USA. More than 300 participants attended the first meeting of the new society, representing the current diversity of Evo-Devo. Speakers came from throughout the Americas, presenting work using an impressive range of study systems, techniques, and approaches. Current research draws from themes including the role of gene regulatory networks, plasticity and the role of the environment, novelty, population genetics, and regeneration, using new and emerging techniques as well as traditional tools. Multiple workshops and a discussion session covered subjects both practical and theoretical, providing an opportunity for members to discuss the current challenges and future directions for Evo-Devo. The excitement and discussion generated over the course of the meeting demonstrates the current dynamism of the field, suggesting that the future of Evo-Devo is bright indeed.

  11. Chordate betagamma-crystallins and the evolutionary developmental biology of the vertebrate lens.

    PubMed

    Riyahi, Kumars; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2007-07-01

    Several animal lineages, including the vertebrates, have evolved sophisticated eyes with lenses that refract light to generate an image. The nearest invertebrate relatives of the vertebrates, such as the ascidians (sea squirts) and amphioxus, have only basic light detecting organs, leading to the widely-held view that the vertebrate lens is an innovation that evolved in early vertebrates. From an embryological perspective the lens is different from the rest of the eye, in that the eye is primarily of neural origin while the lens derives from a non-neural ectodermal placode which invaginates into the developing eye. How such an organ could have evolved has attracted much speculation. Recently, however, molecular developmental studies of sea squirts have started to suggest a possible evolutionary origin for the lens. First, studies of the Pax, Six, Eya and other gene families have indicated that sea squirts have areas of non-neural ectoderm homologous to placodes, suggesting an origin for the embryological characteristics of the lens. Second, the evolution and regulation of the betagamma-crystallins has been studied. These form one of the key crystallin gene families responsible for the transparency of the lens, and regulatory conservation between the betagamma-crystallin gene in the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis and the vertebrate visual system has been experimentally demonstrated. These data, together with knowledge of the morphological, physiological and gene expression similarities between the C. intestinalis ocellus and vertebrate retina, have led us to propose a hypothesis for the evolution of the vertebrate lens and integrated vertebrate eye via the co-option and combination of ancient gene regulatory networks; one controlling morphogenetic aspects of lens development and one controlling the expression of a gene family responsible for the biophysical properties of the lens, with the components of the retina having evolved from an ancestral photoreceptive organ

  12. Biological sensitivity to context: I. An evolutionary-developmental theory of the origins and functions of stress reactivity.

    PubMed

    Boyce, W Thomas; Ellis, Bruce J

    2005-01-01

    Biological reactivity to psychological stressors comprises a complex, integrated, and highly conserved repertoire of central neural and peripheral neuroendocrine responses designed to prepare the organism for challenge or threat. Developmental experience plays a role, along with heritable, polygenic variation, in calibrating the response dynamics of these systems, with early adversity biasing their combined effects toward a profile of heightened or prolonged reactivity. Conventional views of such high reactivity suggest that it is an atavistic and pathogenic legacy of an evolutionary past in which threats to survival were more prevalent and severe. Recent evidence, however, indicates that (a) stress reactivity is not a unitary process, but rather incorporates counterregulatory circuits serving to modify or temper physiological arousal, and (b) the effects of high reactivity phenotypes on psychiatric and biomedical outcomes are bivalent, rather than univalent, in character, exerting both risk-augmenting and risk-protective effects in a context-dependent manner. These observations suggest that heightened stress reactivity may reflect, not simply exaggerated arousal under challenge, but rather an increased biological sensitivity to context, with potential for negative health effects under conditions of adversity and positive effects under conditions of support and protection. From an evolutionary perspective, the developmental plasticity of the stress response systems, along with their structured, context-dependent effects, suggests that these systems may constitute conditional adaptations: evolved psychobiological mechanisms that monitor specific features of childhood environments as a basis for calibrating the development of stress response systems to adaptively match those environments. Taken together, these theoretical perspectives generate a novel hypothesis: that there is a curvilinear, U-shaped relation between early exposures to adversity and the development

  13. Eco-Evo-Devo: developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity as evolutionary agents.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Scott F; Bosch, Thomas C G; Ledón-Rettig, Cristina

    2015-10-01

    The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis.

  14. Where is the Evo in Evo-Devo (evolutionary developmental biology)?

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui

    2016-01-01

    I provide a brief discussion of the present/future of Evo-Devo, reviewing opinions expressed by colleagues with different opinions/backgrounds about what Evo-Devo should be and the potential of this flourishing field and combining them with an analysis of the recent, and excellent inaugural meeting of the Pan-American Society for Evo-Devo. As an advocate of Evo-Devo and its enormous future potential, I feel that despite our different views and fields of research, we Evo-Devoists are all in the same boat and should try our best to make sure this potential is fully expressed. Therefore, I call attention to some concerns raised by other colleagues, which in my opinion are demonstrated by a quantitative analysis of the titles/abstracts of the 56 talks at this meeting. This analysis is very simple, in order to maintain the needed objectivity and minimize bias. Yet, it is profound in its implications, precisely because of its simplicity and because this meeting is clearly a major landmark for the development/future directions of Evo-Devo. The analysis shows that terms associated with development at the more molecular/genetic level were vastly overrepresented compared to terms related to evolution or to development at the whole organism level. That is, it provides support for the idea that current Evo-Devo is mainly focused on Devo, and that Devo itself is largely focused on "Geno," that is, on molecular/genetic developmental studies. This trend seems to be leading towards a loss of focus on the whole organism and on the major microevolutionary and macroevolutionary questions/theories that remain to be solved/tested.

  15. Evo-Devo: evolutionary developmental mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) as a discipline is concerned, among other things, with discovering and understanding the role of changes in developmental mechanisms in the evolutionary origin of aspects of the phenotype. In a very real sense, Evo-Devo opens the black box between genotype and phenotype, or more properly, phenotypes as multiple life history stages arise in many organisms from a single genotype. Changes in the timing or positioning of an aspect of development in a descendant relative to an ancestor (heterochrony and heterotopy) were two evolutionary developmental mechanisms identified by Ernst Haeckel in the 1870s. Many more have since been identified, in large part because of our enhanced understanding of development and because new mechanisms emerge as development proceeds: the transfer from maternal to zygotic genomic control; cell-to-cell interactions; cell differentiation and cell migration; embryonic inductions; functional interactions at the tissue and organ levels; growth. Within these emergent processes, gene networks and gene cascades (genetic modules) link the genotype with morphogenetic units (cellular modules, namely germ layers, embryonic fields or cellular condensations), while epigenetic processes such as embryonic inductions, tissue interactions and functional integration, link morphogenetic units to the phenotype. Evolutionary developmental mechanisms also include interactions between individuals of the same species, individuals of different species, and species and their biotic and/or abiotic environment. Such interactions link ecological communities. Importantly, there is little to distinguish the causality that underlies these interactions from that which underlies inductive interactions within embryos.

  16. Lehrman's dictum: information and explanation in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Paul E

    2013-01-01

    The integration of concepts from evolutionary developmental biology, such as the homology concept, into developmental psychobiology has great potential. However, evolutionary developmental biology is an attempt to integrate evolutionary and developmental explanation and developmental psychobiology has traditionally been concerned to avoid conflating these two kinds of explanation. This article examines a recent attempt to explain development in terms of "inherited information." The resulting explanation is an evolutionary explanation of development of a kind typical of evolutionary developmental biology. But its proponent mistakes it for an actual developmental explanation. Any integration of evolutionary developmental biology and developmental psychobiology should pay close attention to longstanding concerns about conflating evolutionary and developmental explanations. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Laland, Kevin N.; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W.; Kendal, Jeremy

    2011-01-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, “niche construction”. This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. PMID:21572912

  18. From the "Modern Synthesis" to cybernetics: Ivan Ivanovich Schmalhausen (1884-1963) and his research program for a synthesis of evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Levit, Georgy S; Hossfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart

    2006-03-15

    Ivan I. Schmalhausen was one of the central figures in the Russian development of the "Modern Synthesis" in evolutionary biology. He is widely cited internationally even today. Schmalhausen developed the main principles of his theory facing the danger of death in the totalitarian Soviet Union. His great services to evolutionary and theoretical biology are indisputable. However, the received view of Schmalhausen's contributions to evolutionary biology makes an unbiased reading of his texts difficult. Here we show that taking all of his works into consideration (including those only available in Russian) paints a much more dynamic and exciting picture of what he tried to achieve. Schmalhausen pioneered the integration of a developmental perspective into evolutionary thinking. A main tool for achieving this was his approach to living objects as complex multi-level self-regulating systems. Schmalhausen put enormous effort into bringing this idea into fruition during the final stages of his career by combining evolutionary theory with cybernetics. His results and ideas remain thought-provoking, and his texts are of more than just historical interest.

  19. Evolutionary quantitative genetics of nonlinear developmental systems.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Michael B

    2015-08-01

    In quantitative genetics, the effects of developmental relationships among traits on microevolution are generally represented by the contribution of pleiotropy to additive genetic covariances. Pleiotropic additive genetic covariances arise only from the average effects of alleles on multiple traits, and therefore the evolutionary importance of nonlinearities in development is generally neglected in quantitative genetic views on evolution. However, nonlinearities in relationships among traits at the level of whole organisms are undeniably important to biology in general, and therefore critical to understanding evolution. I outline a system for characterizing key quantitative parameters in nonlinear developmental systems, which yields expressions for quantities such as trait means and phenotypic and genetic covariance matrices. I then develop a system for quantitative prediction of evolution in nonlinear developmental systems. I apply the system to generating a new hypothesis for why direct stabilizing selection is rarely observed. Other uses will include separation of purely correlative from direct and indirect causal effects in studying mechanisms of selection, generation of predictions of medium-term evolutionary trajectories rather than immediate predictions of evolutionary change over single generation time-steps, and the development of efficient and biologically motivated models for separating additive from epistatic genetic variances and covariances.

  20. Evolutionary Design in Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiese, Kay C.

    Much progress has been achieved in recent years in molecular biology and genetics. The sheer volume of data in the form of biological sequences has been enormous and efficient methods for dealing with these huge amounts of data are needed. In addition, the data alone does not provide information on the workings of biological systems; hence much research effort has focused on designing mathematical and computational models to address problems from molecular biology. Often, the terms bioinformatics and computational biology are used to refer to the research fields concerning themselves with designing solutions to molecular problems in biology. However, there is a slight distinction between bioinformatics and computational biology: the former is concerned with managing the enormous amounts of biological data and extracting information from it, while the latter is more concerned with the design and development of new algorithms to address problems such as protein or RNA folding. However, the boundary is blurry, and there is no consistent usage of the terms. We will use the term bioinformatics to encompass both fields. To cover all areas of research in bioinformatics is beyond the scope of this section and we refer the interested reader to [2] for a general introduction. A large part of what bioinformatics is concerned about is evolution and function of biological systems on a molecular level. Evolutionary computation and evolutionary design are concerned with developing computational systems that "mimic" certain aspects of natural evolution (mutation, crossover, selection, fitness). Much of the inner workings of natural evolutionary systems have been copied, sometimes in modified format into evolutionary computation systems. Artificial neural networks mimic the functioning of simple brain cell clusters. Fuzzy systems are concerned with the "fuzzyness" in decision making, similar to a human expert. These three computational paradigms fall into the category of

  1. Evolutionary synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Peisajovich, Sergio G

    2012-06-15

    Signaling networks process vast amounts of environmental information to generate specific cellular responses. As cellular environments change, signaling networks adapt accordingly. Here, I will discuss how the integration of synthetic biology and directed evolution approaches is shedding light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the evolution of signaling networks. In particular, I will review studies that demonstrate how different types of mutations, from the replacement of individual amino acids to the shuffling of modular domains, lead to markedly different evolutionary trajectories and consequently to diverse network rewiring. Moreover, I will argue that intrinsic evolutionary properties of signaling proteins, such as the robustness of wild type functions, the promiscuous nature of evolutionary intermediates, and the modular decoupling between binding and catalysis, play important roles in the evolution of signaling networks. Finally, I will argue that rapid advances in our ability to synthesize DNA will radically alter how we study signaling network evolution at the genome-wide level.

  2. An introduction to evolutionary developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    Machluf, Karin; Liddle, James R; Bjorklund, David F

    2014-04-29

    Evolutionary developmental psychology represents a synthesis of modern evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. Here we introduce the special issue on evolutionary developmental psychology by briefly discussing the history of this field and then summarizing the variety of topics that are covered. In this special issue, leading researchers provide a collection of theoretical and empirical articles that highlight recent findings and propose promising areas for future research.

  3. Developmental Biology: We Are All Walking Mutants.

    PubMed

    Trainor, Paul A

    2016-01-01

    What is Developmental Biology? Developmental Biology is a discipline that evolved from the collective fields of embryology, morphology, and anatomy, which firmly established that structure underpins function. In its simplest terms, Developmental Biology has come to describe how a single cell becomes a completely formed organism. However, this definition of Developmental Biology is too narrow. Developmental Biology describes the properties of individual cells; their organization into tissues, organs, and organisms; their homeostasis, regeneration, aging, and ultimately death. Developmental Biology provides a context for cellular reprogramming, stem cell biology, regeneration, tissue engineering, evolutionary development and ecology, and involves the reiterated use of the same cellular mechanisms and signaling pathways throughout the lifespan of an organism. Using neural crest cells as an example, this review explores the contribution of Developmental Biology to our understanding of development, evolution, and disease.

  4. Bridging developmental systems theory and evolutionary psychology using dynamic optimization.

    PubMed

    Frankenhuis, Willem E; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H

    2013-07-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic optimization integrates developmental systems theorists' focus on dynamics and contingency with the 'design stance' of evolutionary psychology. It provides a theoretical framework as well as a set of tools for exploring the properties of developmental systems that natural selection might favor, given particular evolutionary ecologies. We also discuss limitations of the approach.

  5. The Homoscleromorph sponge Oscarella lobularis, a promising sponge model in evolutionary and developmental biology: model sponge Oscarella lobularis.

    PubMed

    Ereskovsky, Alexander V; Borchiellini, Carole; Gazave, Eve; Ivanisevic, Julijana; Lapébie, Pascal; Perez, Thierry; Renard, Emmanuelle; Vacelet, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Sponges branch basally in the metazoan phylogenetic tree and are believed to be composed of four distinct lineages with still uncertain relationships. Indeed, some molecular studies propose that Homoscleromorpha may be a fourth Sponge lineage, distinct from Demospongiae in which they were traditionally classified. They harbour many features that distinguish them from other sponges and are more evocative of those of the eumetazoans. They are notably the only sponges to possess a basement membrane with collagen IV and specialized cell-junctions, thus possessing true epithelia. Among Homoscleromorphs, we have chosen Oscarella lobularis as a model species. This common and easily accessible sponge is characterized by relatively simple histology and cell composition, absence of skeleton, and strongly pronounced epithelial structure. In this review, we explore the specific features that make O. lobularis a promising homoscleromorph sponge model for evolutionary and developmental researches.

  6. The search for evolutionary developmental origins of aging in zebrafish: a novel intersection of developmental and senescence biology in the zebrafish model system.

    PubMed

    Kishi, Shuji

    2011-09-01

    regulation. We wish to ascertain whether we can identify such genes promptly in a comprehensive manner. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes and small molecular compounds that can be linked to the senescence phenotype and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. 500,000 fish phenotypes: The new informatics landscape for evolutionary and developmental biology of the vertebrate skeleton

    PubMed Central

    Mabee, P; Balhoff, J P; Dahdul, W M; Lapp, H; Midford, P E; Vision, T J; Westerfield, M

    2012-01-01

    The rich phenotypic diversity that characterizes the vertebrate skeleton results from evolutionary changes in regulation of genes that drive development. Although relatively little is known about the genes that underlie the skeletal variation among fish species, significant knowledge of genetics and development is available for zebrafish. Because developmental processes are highly conserved, this knowledge can be leveraged for understanding the evolution of skeletal diversity. We developed the Phenoscape Knowledgebase (KB; http://kb.phenoscape.org) to yield testable hypotheses of candidate genes involved in skeletal evolution. We developed a community anatomy ontology for fishes and ontology-based methods to represent complex free-text character descriptions of species in a computable format. With these tools, we populated the KB with comparative morphological data from the literature on over 2500 teleost fishes (mainly Ostariophysi) resulting in over 500,000 taxon phenotype annotations. The KB integrates these data with similarly structured phenotype data from zebrafish genes (http://zfin.org). Using ontology-based reasoning, candidate genes can be inferred for the phenotypes that vary across taxa, thereby uniting genetic and phenotypic data to formulate evo-devo hypotheses. The morphological data in the KB can be browsed, sorted, and aggregated in ways that provide unprecedented possibilities for data mining and discovery. PMID:22736877

  8. An evolutionary developmental approach to cultural evolution.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Claes; Törnberg, Anton; Törnberg, Petter

    2014-04-01

    Evolutionary developmental theories in biology see the processes and organization of organisms as crucial for understanding the dynamic behavior of organic evolution. Darwinian forces are seen as necessary but not sufficient for explaining observed evolutionary patterns. We here propose that the same arguments apply with even greater force to culture vis-à-vis cultural evolution. In order not to argue entirely in the abstract, we demonstrate the proposed approach by combining a set of different models into a provisional synthetic theory and by applying this theory to a number of short case studies. What emerges is a set of concepts and models that allow us to consider entirely new types of explanations for the evolution of cultures. For example, we see how feedback relations--both within societies and between societies and their ecological environment--have the power to shape evolutionary history in profound ways. The ambition here is not to produce a definitive statement on what such a theory should look like but rather to propose a starting point along with an argumentation and demonstration of its potential.

  9. Bridging Developmental Systems Theory and Evolutionary Psychology Using Dynamic Optimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankenhuis, Willem E.; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic…

  10. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology: Contributions from Comparative Research with Nonhuman Primates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maestripieri, Dario; Roney, James R.

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental psychology is a discipline that has the potential to integrate conceptual approaches to the study of behavioral development derived from psychology and biology as well as empirical data from humans and animals. Comparative research with animals, and especially with nonhuman primates, can provide evidence of adaptation in…

  11. Bridging Developmental Systems Theory and Evolutionary Psychology Using Dynamic Optimization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankenhuis, Willem E.; Panchanathan, Karthik; Clark Barrett, H.

    2013-01-01

    Interactions between evolutionary psychologists and developmental systems theorists have been largely antagonistic. This is unfortunate because potential synergies between the two approaches remain unexplored. This article presents a method that may help to bridge the divide, and that has proven fruitful in biology: dynamic optimization. Dynamic…

  12. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology: Contributions from Comparative Research with Nonhuman Primates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maestripieri, Dario; Roney, James R.

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental psychology is a discipline that has the potential to integrate conceptual approaches to the study of behavioral development derived from psychology and biology as well as empirical data from humans and animals. Comparative research with animals, and especially with nonhuman primates, can provide evidence of adaptation in…

  13. Evolutionary biology of harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones).

    PubMed

    Giribet, Gonzalo; Sharma, Prashant P

    2015-01-07

    Opiliones are one of the largest arachnid orders, with more than 6,500 species in 50 families. Many of these families have been erected or reorganized in the last few years since the publication of The Biology of Opiliones. Recent years have also seen an explosion in phylogenetic work on Opiliones, as well as in studies using Opiliones as test cases to address biogeographic and evolutionary questions more broadly. Accelerated activity in the study of Opiliones evolution has been facilitated by the discovery of several key fossils, including the oldest known Opiliones fossil, which represents a new, extinct suborder. Study of the group's biology has also benefited from rapid accrual of genomic resources, particularly with respect to transcriptomes and functional genetic tools. The rapid emergence and utility of Phalangium opilio as a model for evolutionary developmental biology of arthropods serve as demonstrative evidence of a new area of study in Opiliones biology, made possible through transcriptomic data.

  14. The origins of variation: evolutionary insights from developmental science.

    PubMed

    Lickliter, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Evidence from contemporary epigenetic research indicates that it is not biologically meaningful to discuss genes without reference to the molecular, cellular, organismal, and environmental context within which they are activated and expressed. Genetic and nongenetic factors, including those beyond the organism, constitute a dynamic relational developmental system. This insight highlights the importance of bringing together genetics, development, and ecology into one explanatory framework for a more complete understanding of the emergence and maintenance of phenotypic stability and variability. In this Chapter, I review some examples of this integrative effort and explore its implications for developmental and evolutionary science, with a particular emphasis on the origins of phenotypic novelty. I argue that developmental science is critical to this integrative effort, in that evolutionary explanation cannot be complete without developmental explanation. This is the case because the process of development generates the phenotypic variation on which natural selection can act.

  15. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ioannidis, Stavros

    2013-01-01

    The "cis"-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for "cis"-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current…

  16. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ioannidis, Stavros

    2013-01-01

    The "cis"-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for "cis"-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current…

  17. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

    Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

  18. Evidence for Karyotype Polymorphism in the Free-Living Flatworm, Macrostomum lignano, a Model Organism for Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Schlatter, Aline; Konopatskaia, Irina D.

    2016-01-01

    Over the past decade, the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano has been successfully used in many areas of biology, including embryology, stem cells, sexual selection, bioadhesion and aging. The increased use of this powerful laboratory model, including the establishment of genomic resources and tools, makes it essential to have a detailed description of the chromosome organization of this species, previously suggested to have a karyotype with 2n = 8 and one pair of large and three pairs of small metacentric chromosomes. We performed cytogenetic analyses for chromosomes of one commonly used inbred line of M. lignano (called DV1) and uncovered unexpected chromosome number variation in the form of aneuploidies of the largest chromosomes. These results prompted us to perform karyotypic studies in individual specimens of this and other lines of M. lignano reared under laboratory conditions, as well as in freshly field-collected specimens from different natural populations. Our analyses revealed a high frequency of aneuploids and in some cases other numerical and structural chromosome abnormalities in laboratory-reared lines of M. lignano, and some cases of aneuploidy were also found in freshly field-collected specimens. Moreover, karyological analyses were performed in specimens of three further species: Macrostomum sp. 8 (a close relative of M. lignano), M. spirale and M. hystrix. Macrostomum sp. 8 showed a karyotype that was similar to that of M. lignano, with tetrasomy for its largest chromosome being the most common karyotype, while the other two species showed a simpler karyotype that is more typical of the genus Macrostomum. These findings suggest that M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 can be used as new models for studying processes of partial genome duplication in genome evolution. PMID:27755577

  19. Is evolutionary biology strategic science?

    PubMed

    Meagher, Thomas R

    2007-01-01

    There is a profound need for the scientific community to be better aware of the policy context in which it operates. To address this need, Evolution has established a new Outlook feature section to include papers that explore the interface between society and evolutionary biology. This first paper in the series considers the strategic relevance of evolutionary biology. Support for scientific research in general is based on governmental or institutional expenditure that is an investment, and such investment is based on strategies designed to achieve particular outcomes, such as advance in particular areas of basic science or application. The scientific community can engage in the development of scientific strategies on a variety of levels, including workshops to explicitly develop research priorities and targeted funding initiatives to help define emerging scientific areas. Better understanding and communication of the scientific achievements of evolutionary biology, emphasizing immediate and potential societal relevance, are effective counters to challenges presented by the creationist agenda. Future papers in the Outlook feature section should assist the evolutionary biology community in achieving a better collective understanding of the societal relevance of their field.

  20. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    PubMed

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. From philosophy to science (to natural philosophy): evolutionary developmental perspectives.

    PubMed

    Love, Alan C

    2008-03-01

    This paper focuses on abstraction as a mode of reasoning that facilitates a productive relationship between philosophy and science. Using examples from evolutionary developmental biology, I argue that there are two areas where abstraction can be relevant to science: reasoning explication and problem clarification. The value of abstraction is characterized in terms of methodology (modeling or data gathering) and epistemology (explanatory evaluation or data interpretation).

  2. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics.

    PubMed

    Paaby, Annalise B; Gibson, Greg

    2016-06-13

    Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes-processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits.

  3. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Paaby, Annalise B.; Gibson, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes—processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits. PMID:27304973

  4. Deconstructing Pancreas Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Benitez, Cecil M.; Goodyer, William R.

    2012-01-01

    The relentless nature and increasing prevalence of human pancreatic diseases, in particular, diabetes mellitus and adenocarcinoma, has motivated further understanding of pancreas organogenesis. The pancreas is a multifunctional organ whose epithelial cells govern a diversity of physiologically vital endocrine and exocrine functions. The mechanisms governing the birth, differentiation, morphogenesis, growth, maturation, and maintenance of the endocrine and exocrine components in the pancreas have been discovered recently with increasing tempo. This includes recent studies unveiling mechanisms permitting unexpected flexibility in the developmental potential of immature and mature pancreatic cell subsets, including the ability to interconvert fates. In this article, we describe how classical cell biology, genetic analysis, lineage tracing, and embryological investigations are being complemented by powerful modern methods including epigenetic analysis, time-lapse imaging, and flow cytometry-based cell purification to dissect fundamental processes of pancreas development. PMID:22587935

  5. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology

    PubMed Central

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles—cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations—provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer. PMID:23396885

  6. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology.

    PubMed

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles-cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations-provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer.

  7. Functional morphology and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Dullemeijer, P

    1980-01-01

    In this study the relationship between functional morpholoy and evolutionary biology is analysed by confronting the main concepts in both disciplines. Rather than only discussing this connection theoretically, the analysis is carried out by introducing important practical and experimental studies, which use aspects from both disciplines. The mentioned investigations are methodologically analysed and the consequences for extensions of the relationship are worked out. It can be shown that both disciplines have a large domain of their own and also share a large common ground. Many disagreements among evolutionary biologists can be reduced to differences in general philosophy (idealism vs. realism), selection of phenomenona (structure vs. function), definition of concepts (natural selection) and the position of the concept theory as an explaining factor (neutralists vs selectionist, random variation, determinate selection, etc.). The significance of functional morphology for evolutionary biology, and vice versa depends on these differences. For a neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory, contributions from functional and ecological morphology are indispensable. Of ultimate importance are the notions of internal selection and constraints in the constructions determining further development. In this context the concepts of random variation and natural selection need more detailed definition. The study ends with a recommendation for future research founded in a system-theoretical or structuralistic conception.

  8. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

  9. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Scott P; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T; Bergstrom, Carl T; Denison, R Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B; Strauss, Sharon Y; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2014-10-17

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens, and pests that evolve too quickly and the second, from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This Review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental, and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. What's wrong with evolutionary biology?

    PubMed

    Welch, John J

    2017-01-01

    There have been periodic claims that evolutionary biology needs urgent reform, and this article tries to account for the volume and persistence of this discontent. It is argued that a few inescapable properties of the field make it prone to criticisms of predictable kinds, whether or not the criticisms have any merit. For example, the variety of living things and the complexity of evolution make it easy to generate data that seem revolutionary (e.g. exceptions to well-established generalizations, or neglected factors in evolution), and lead to disappointment with existing explanatory frameworks (with their high levels of abstraction, and limited predictive power). It is then argued that special discontent stems from misunderstandings and dislike of one well-known but atypical research programme: the study of adaptive function, in the tradition of behavioural ecology. To achieve its goals, this research needs distinct tools, often including imaginary agency, and a partial description of the evolutionary process. This invites mistaken charges of narrowness and oversimplification (which come, not least, from researchers in other subfields), and these chime with anxieties about human agency and overall purpose. The article ends by discussing several ways in which calls to reform evolutionary biology actively hinder progress in the field.

  11. Evolutionary Biology Needs Wild Microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Hird, Sarah M

    2017-01-01

    The microbiome is a vital component to the evolution of a host and much of what we know about the microbiome derives from studies on humans and captive animals. But captivity alters the microbiome and mammals have unique biological adaptations that affect their microbiomes (e.g., milk). Birds represent over 30% of known tetrapod diversity and possess their own suite of adaptations relevant to the microbiome. In a previous study, we showed that 59 species of birds displayed immense variation in their microbiomes and host (bird) taxonomy and ecology were most correlated with the gut microbiome. In this Frontiers Focused Review, I put those results in a broader context by discussing how collecting and analyzing wild microbiomes contributes to the main goals of evolutionary biology and the specific ways that birds are unique microbial hosts. Finally, I outline some of the methodological considerations for adding microbiome sampling to the research of wild animals and urge researchers to do so. To truly understand the evolution of a host, we need to understand the millions of microorganisms that inhabit it as well: evolutionary biology needs wild microbiomes.

  12. Evolutionary Biology Needs Wild Microbiomes

    PubMed Central

    Hird, Sarah M.

    2017-01-01

    The microbiome is a vital component to the evolution of a host and much of what we know about the microbiome derives from studies on humans and captive animals. But captivity alters the microbiome and mammals have unique biological adaptations that affect their microbiomes (e.g., milk). Birds represent over 30% of known tetrapod diversity and possess their own suite of adaptations relevant to the microbiome. In a previous study, we showed that 59 species of birds displayed immense variation in their microbiomes and host (bird) taxonomy and ecology were most correlated with the gut microbiome. In this Frontiers Focused Review, I put those results in a broader context by discussing how collecting and analyzing wild microbiomes contributes to the main goals of evolutionary biology and the specific ways that birds are unique microbial hosts. Finally, I outline some of the methodological considerations for adding microbiome sampling to the research of wild animals and urge researchers to do so. To truly understand the evolution of a host, we need to understand the millions of microorganisms that inhabit it as well: evolutionary biology needs wild microbiomes. PMID:28487687

  13. The Evolutionary Biology of Poxviruses

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Austin L.; Irausquin, Stephanie; Friedman, Robert

    2009-01-01

    The poxviruses (family Poxviridae) are a family of double-stranded viruses including several species that infect humans and their domestic animals, most notably Variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox. The evolutionary biology of these viruses poses numerous questions, for which we have only partial answers at present. Here we review evidence regarding the origin of poxviruses, the frequency of host transfer in poxvirus history, horizontal transfer of host genes to poxviruses, and the population processes accounting for patterns of nucleotide sequence polymorphism. PMID:19833230

  14. Choroid plexus in developmental and evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Brent Roy; Korzh, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    The blood-cerebrospinal fluid boundary is present at the level of epithelial cells of the choroid plexus. As one of the sources of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the choroid plexus (CP) plays an important role during brain development and function. Its formation has been studied largely in mammalian species. Lately, progress in other model animals, in particular the zebrafish, has brought a deeper understanding of CP formation, due in part to the ability to observe CP development in vivo. At the same time, advances in comparative genomics began providing information, which opens a possibility to understand further the molecular mechanisms involved in evolution of the CP and the blood-cerebrospinal fluid boundary formation. Hence this review focuses on analysis of the CP from developmental and evolutionary perspectives. PMID:25452709

  15. The renaissance of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    St Johnston, Daniel

    2015-05-01

    Since its heyday in the 1980s and 90s, the field of developmental biology has gone into decline; in part because it has been eclipsed by the rise of genomics and stem cell biology, and in part because it has seemed less pertinent in an era with so much focus on translational impact. In this essay, I argue that recent progress in genome-wide analyses and stem cell research, coupled with technological advances in imaging and genome editing, have created the conditions for the renaissance of a new wave of developmental biology with greater translational relevance.

  16. The origins of pedagogy: developmental and evolutionary perspectives.

    PubMed

    Skerry, Amy E; Lambert, Enoch; Powell, Lindsey J; McAuliffe, Katherine

    2013-07-18

    The question of whether and how information is actively transferred from knowledgeable to ignorant individuals has received much attention in psychology and evolutionary biology. Research in these fields has proceeded largely independently, with studies of nonhuman animals focusing on knowledgeable individuals and whether or not they meet a functional definition of teaching, while studies of children focus on the learner's assumptions and inferences. We argue that a comprehensive theory of teaching will benefit from integrating perspectives and empirical phenomena from evolutionary and developmental disciplines. In this review, we identify cases of seemingly purposeful information transfer (i.e. teaching) in human and nonhuman animals, discuss what is known about the cognitive processes that support teaching in different species, and highlight ways in which each discipline might be informed by extant theories and empirical tools from the other.

  17. The diversification of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Crowe, Nathan; Dietrich, Michael R; Alomepe, Beverly S; Antrim, Amelia F; ByrneSim, Bay Lauris; He, Yi

    2015-10-01

    In the 1960s, "developmental biology" became the dominant term to describe some of the research that had previously been included under the rubrics of embryology, growth, morphology, and physiology. As scientific societies formed under this new label, a new discipline took shape. Historians, however, have a number of different perspectives on what changes led to this new field of developmental biology and how the field itself was constituted during this period. Using the General Embryological Information Service, a global index of post-World War II development-related research, we have documented and visualized significant changes in the kinds of research that occurred as this new field formed. In particular, our analysis supports the claim that the transition toward developmental biology was marked by a growth in new topics and forms of research. Although many historians privilege the role of molecular biology and/or the molecularization of biology in general during this formative period, we have found that the influence of molecular biology is not sufficient to account for the wide range of new research that constituted developmental biology at the time. Overall, our work creates a robust characterization of the changes that occurred with regard to research on growth and development in the decades following World War II and provides a context for future work on the specific drivers of those changes.

  18. Mathematical modelling in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Vasieva, Olga; Rasolonjanahary, Manan'Iarivo; Vasiev, Bakhtier

    2013-06-01

    In recent decades, molecular and cellular biology has benefited from numerous fascinating developments in experimental technique, generating an overwhelming amount of data on various biological objects and processes. This, in turn, has led biologists to look for appropriate tools to facilitate systematic analysis of data. Thus, the need for mathematical techniques, which can be used to aid the classification and understanding of this ever-growing body of experimental data, is more profound now than ever before. Mathematical modelling is becoming increasingly integrated into biological studies in general and into developmental biology particularly. This review outlines some achievements of mathematics as applied to developmental biology and demonstrates the mathematical formulation of basic principles driving morphogenesis. We begin by describing a mathematical formalism used to analyse the formation and scaling of morphogen gradients. Then we address a problem of interplay between the dynamics of morphogen gradients and movement of cells, referring to mathematical models of gastrulation in the chick embryo. In the last section, we give an overview of various mathematical models used in the study of the developmental cycle of Dictyostelium discoideum, which is probably the best example of successful mathematical modelling in developmental biology.

  19. Developmental biology of the leech Helobdella

    PubMed Central

    WEISBLAT, DAVID A.; KUO, DIAN-HAN

    2015-01-01

    Glossiphoniid leeches of the genus Helobdella provide experimentally tractable models for studies in evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo). Here, after a brief rationale, we will summarize our current understanding of Helobdella development and highlight the near term prospects for future investigations, with respect to the issues of: D quadrant specification; the transition from spiral to bilaterally symmetric cleavage; segmentation, and the connections between segmental and non-segmental tissues; modifications of BMP signaling in dorsoventral patterning and the O-P equivalence group; germ line specification and genome rearrangements. The goal of this contribution is to serve as a summary of, and guide to, published work. PMID:25690960

  20. Evolutionary Biology in the Medical School Curriculum.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neese, Randolph M.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which a questionnaire was given to deans at North American medical schools to determine which aspects of evolutionary biology are included in the curricula and the factors that influence this. Suggests that most future physicians should learn evolutionary biology as undergraduates if they are to learn it at all. (Author/NB)

  1. Evolutionary cell biology: Two origins, one objective

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C.; Goodson, Holly V.; Malik, Harmit S.; Pereira-Leal, José B.; Roos, David S.; Turkewitz, Aaron P.; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-01-01

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology. PMID:25404324

  2. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-02

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  3. Illuminating developmental biology through photochemistry.

    PubMed

    Kowalik, Lukasz; Chen, James K

    2017-05-17

    Developmental biology has been continually shaped by technological advances, evolving from a descriptive science into one immersed in molecular and cellular mechanisms. Most recently, genome sequencing and 'omics' profiling have provided developmental biologists with a wealth of genetic and biochemical information; however, fully translating this knowledge into functional understanding will require new experimental capabilities. Photoactivatable probes have emerged as particularly valuable tools for investigating developmental mechanisms, as they can enable rapid, specific manipulations of DNA, RNA, proteins, and cells with spatiotemporal precision. In this Perspective, we describe optochemical and optogenetic systems that have been applied in multicellular organisms, insights gained through the use of these probes, and their current limitations. We also suggest how chemical biologists can expand the reach of photoactivatable technologies and bring new depth to our understanding of organismal development.

  4. Attachment in Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Middle childhood is a key transitional stage in the development of attachment processes and representations. Here I discuss the middle childhood transition from an evolutionary-developmental perspective and show how this approach offers fresh insight into the function and organization of attachment in this life stage. I begin by presenting an integrated biological model of middle childhood and discussing the neurobiological mechanisms that support the middle childhood transition. I examine the potential role of adrenal androgens, focusing on their activational effects in interaction with early exposure to sex hormones. I then discuss three insights arising from the integrated model and apply them to the development of attachment in middle childhood. I consider the changing functions of attachment in light of social competition, the emergence of sex differences in attachment, and the model's implications for the genetics of attachment in middle childhood.

  5. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Soyer, Orkun S.; Siegal, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB’s progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology. PMID:26085823

  6. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S; Siegal, Mark L

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB's progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology.

  7. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V

    2009-03-15

    In 2009, we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and the 150th jubilee of his masterpiece, the Origin of Species. Darwin developed the first coherent and compelling narrative of biological evolution and thus founded evolutionary biology-and modern biology in general, remembering the famous dictum of Dobzhansky. It is, however, counter-productive, and ultimately, a disservice to Darwin's legacy, to define modern evolutionary biology as neo-Darwinism. The current picture of evolution, informed, in particular, by results of comparative genomics and systems biology, is by far more complex than that presented in the Origin of Species, so that Darwinian principles, including natural selection, are incorporated into the evolving new synthesis as important but certainly not all-embracing tenets. This expansion of evolutionary biology does not denigrate Darwin in the least but rather emphasizes the fertility of his ideas.

  8. Implications of Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks Inside and Outside Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Peter, Isabelle S; Davidson, Eric H

    2016-01-01

    The insight that the genomic control of developmental process is encoded in the form of gene regulatory networks has profound impacts on many areas of modern bioscience. Most importantly, it affects developmental biology itself, as it means that a causal understanding of development requires knowledge of the architecture of regulatory network interactions. Furthermore, it follows that functional changes in developmental gene regulatory networks have to be considered as a primary mechanism for evolutionary process. We here discuss some of the recent advances in gene regulatory network biology and how they have affected our current understanding of development, evolution, and regulatory genomics.

  9. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    SciTech Connect

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  10. Towards a postmodern synthesis of evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin and the 150th jubilee of his masterpiece, the Origin of Species. Darwin developed the first coherent and compelling narrative of biological evolution and thus founded evolutionary biology—and modern biology in general, remembering the famous dictum of Dobzhansky. It is, however, counter-productive, and ultimately, a disservice to Darwin’s legacy, to define modern evolutionary biology as neo-Darwinism. The current picture of evolution, informed, in particular, by results of comparative genomics and systems biology, is by far more complex than that presented in the Origin of Species, so that Darwinian principles, including natural selection, are incorporated into the evolving new synthesis as important but certainly not all-embracing tenets. This expansion of evolutionary biology does not denigrate Darwin in the least but rather emphasizes the fertility of his ideas. PMID:19242109

  11. Applying evolutionary genetics to developmental toxicology and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Leung, Maxwell C K; Procter, Andrew C; Goldstone, Jared V; Foox, Jonathan; DeSalle, Robert; Mattingly, Carolyn J; Siddall, Mark E; Timme-Laragy, Alicia R

    2017-03-04

    Evolutionary thinking continues to challenge our views on health and disease. Yet, there is a communication gap between evolutionary biologists and toxicologists in recognizing the connections among developmental pathways, high-throughput screening, and birth defects in humans. To increase our capability in identifying potential developmental toxicants in humans, we propose to apply evolutionary genetics to improve the experimental design and data interpretation with various in vitro and whole-organism models. We review five molecular systems of stress response and update 18 consensual cell-cell signaling pathways that are the hallmark for early development, organogenesis, and differentiation; and revisit the principles of teratology in light of recent advances in high-throughput screening, big data techniques, and systems toxicology. Multiscale systems modeling plays an integral role in the evolutionary approach to cross-species extrapolation. Phylogenetic analysis and comparative bioinformatics are both valuable tools in identifying and validating the molecular initiating events that account for adverse developmental outcomes in humans. The discordance of susceptibility between test species and humans (ontogeny) reflects their differences in evolutionary history (phylogeny). This synthesis not only can lead to novel applications in developmental toxicity and risk assessment, but also can pave the way for applying an evo-devo perspective to the study of developmental origins of health and disease.

  12. Evolutionary Biology Instruction: What Students Gain from Learning through Inquiry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dremock, Fae, Ed.

    2002-01-01

    This bulletin features articles on real world evolutionary biology, revolutionary classroom science, a review of new curricula in evolutionary biology, and the use of case studies to illustrate points in evolutionary biology. The articles are: (1) "'Real World' Evolutionary Biology: A Pragmatic Quest. Interview with BioQUEST's John Jungck" (Harvey…

  13. A framework for evolutionary systems biology

    PubMed Central

    Loewe, Laurence

    2009-01-01

    Background Many difficult problems in evolutionary genomics are related to mutations that have weak effects on fitness, as the consequences of mutations with large effects are often simple to predict. Current systems biology has accumulated much data on mutations with large effects and can predict the properties of knockout mutants in some systems. However experimental methods are too insensitive to observe small effects. Results Here I propose a novel framework that brings together evolutionary theory and current systems biology approaches in order to quantify small effects of mutations and their epistatic interactions in silico. Central to this approach is the definition of fitness correlates that can be computed in some current systems biology models employing the rigorous algorithms that are at the core of much work in computational systems biology. The framework exploits synergies between the realism of such models and the need to understand real systems in evolutionary theory. This framework can address many longstanding topics in evolutionary biology by defining various 'levels' of the adaptive landscape. Addressed topics include the distribution of mutational effects on fitness, as well as the nature of advantageous mutations, epistasis and robustness. Combining corresponding parameter estimates with population genetics models raises the possibility of testing evolutionary hypotheses at a new level of realism. Conclusion EvoSysBio is expected to lead to a more detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of life by combining knowledge about well-known biological systems from several disciplines. This will benefit both evolutionary theory and current systems biology. Understanding robustness by analysing distributions of mutational effects and epistasis is pivotal for drug design, cancer research, responsible genetic engineering in synthetic biology and many other practical applications. PMID:19239699

  14. The proper place of hopeful monsters in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Theissen, Günter

    2006-03-01

    Hopeful monsters are organisms with a profound mutant phenotype that have the potential to establish a new evolutionary lineage. The Synthetic Theory of evolutionary biology has rejected the evolutionary relevance of hopeful monsters, but could not fully explain the mechanism and mode of macroevolution. On the other hand, several lines of evidence suggest that hopeful monsters played an important role during the origin of key innovations and novel body plans by saltational rather than gradual evolution. Homeotic mutants are identified as an especially promising class of hopeful monsters. Examples for animal and plant lineages that may have originated as hopeful monsters are given. Nevertheless, a brief review of the history of the concept of hopeful monsters reveals that it needs refinements and empirical tests if it is to be a useful addition to evolutionary biology. While evolutionary biology is traditionally zoocentric, hopeful monsters might be more relevant for plant than for animal evolution. Even though during recent years developmental genetics has provided detailed knowledge about how hopeful monsters can originate in the first place, we know almost nothing about their performance in natural populations and thus the ultimate difference between hopeful and hopeless. Studying the fitness of candidate hopeful monsters (suitable mutants with profound phenotype) in natural habitats thus remains a considerable challenge for the future.

  15. Ctenophores: an evolutionary-developmental perspective.

    PubMed

    Jager, Muriel; Manuel, Michaël

    2016-08-01

    Ctenophores are non-bilaterian metazoans of uncertain phylogenetic position, some recent studies placing them as sister-group to all other animals whereas others suggest this placement is artefactual and ctenophores are more closely allied with cnidarians and bilaterians, with which they share nerve cells, muscles and gut. Available information about developmental genes and their expression and function in ctenophores is reviewed. These data not only unveil some conserved aspects of molecular developmental mechanisms with other basal metazoan lineages, but also can be expected to enlighten the genomic and molecular bases of the evolution of ctenophore-specific traits, including their unique embryonic development, complex anatomy and high cell type diversity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Attachment in Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Middle childhood is a key transitional stage in the development of attachment processes and representations. Here I discuss the middle childhood transition from an evolutionary-developmental perspective and show how this approach offers fresh insight into the function and organization of attachment in this life stage. I begin by presenting an…

  17. Attachment in Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Middle childhood is a key transitional stage in the development of attachment processes and representations. Here I discuss the middle childhood transition from an evolutionary-developmental perspective and show how this approach offers fresh insight into the function and organization of attachment in this life stage. I begin by presenting an…

  18. Developmental and Evolutionary History Affect Survival in Stressful Environments

    PubMed Central

    Hopkins, Gareth R.; Brodie, Edmund D.; French, Susannah S.

    2014-01-01

    The world is increasingly impacted by a variety of stressors that have the potential to differentially influence life history stages of organisms. Organisms have evolved to cope with some stressors, while with others they have little capacity. It is thus important to understand the effects of both developmental and evolutionary history on survival in stressful environments. We present evidence of the effects of both developmental and evolutionary history on survival of a freshwater vertebrate, the rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) in an osmotically stressful environment. We compared the survival of larvae in either NaCl or MgCl2 that were exposed to salinity either as larvae only or as embryos as well. Embryonic exposure to salinity led to greater mortality of newt larvae than larval exposure alone, and this reduced survival probability was strongly linked to the carry-over effect of stunted embryonic growth in salts. Larval survival was also dependent on the type of salt (NaCl or MgCl2) the larvae were exposed to, and was lowest in MgCl2, a widely-used chemical deicer that, unlike NaCl, amphibian larvae do not have an evolutionary history of regulating at high levels. Both developmental and evolutionary history are critical factors in determining survival in this stressful environment, a pattern that may have widespread implications for the survival of animals increasingly impacted by substances with which they have little evolutionary history. PMID:24748021

  19. The Generation of Variation and The Developmental Basis for Evolutionary Novelty

    PubMed Central

    Hallgrímsson, Benedikt; Jamniczky, Heather A.; Young, Nathan M.; Rolian, Campbell; Schmidt-Ott, Urs; Marcucio, Ralph S.

    2013-01-01

    Organisms exhibit an incredible diversity of form, a fact that makes the evolution of novelty seemingly self-evident. However, despite the “obvious” case for novelty, defining this concept in evolutionary terms is highly problematic, so much so that some have suggested discarding it altogether. Approaches to this problem tend to take either an adaptation or development-based perspective, but we argue here that an exclusive focus on either of these misses the original intent of the novelty concept and undermines its practical utility. We instead propose that for a feature to be novel it must have evolved both by a transition between adaptive peaks on the fitness landscape and that this transition must have overcome a previous developmental constraint. This definition focuses novelty on the explanation of apparently difficult or low probability evolutionary transitions and highlights how the integration of developmental and functional considerations is necessary to evolutionary explanation. It further reinforces that novelty is a central concern not just of evolutionary developmental biology (i.e., “evo-devo”) but of evolutionary biology more generally. We explore this definition of novelty in light of four examples that range from the obvious to subtle. PMID:22649039

  20. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  1. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  2. Evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation within the Solanaceae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li; Li, Jing; Zhao, Jing; He, Chaoying

    2015-01-01

    Morphological variations of fruits such as shape and size, and color are a result of adaptive evolution. The evolution of morphological novelties is particularly intriguing. An understanding of these evolutionary processes calls for the elucidation of the developmental and genetic mechanisms that result in particular fruit morphological characteristics, which determine seed dispersal. The genetic and developmental basis for fruit morphological variation was established at a microevolutionary time scale. Here, we summarize the progress on the evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit size, shape and color in the Solanaceae. Studies suggest that the recruitment of a pre-existing gene and subsequent modification of its interaction and regulatory networks are frequently involved in the evolution of morphological diversity. The basic mechanisms underlying changes in plant morphology are alterations in gene expression and/or gene function. We also deliberate on the future direction in evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation such as fruit type. These studies will provide insights into plant developmental processes and will help to improve the productivity and fruit quality of crops.

  3. Evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation within the Solanaceae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Li, Jing; Zhao, Jing; He, Chaoying

    2015-01-01

    Morphological variations of fruits such as shape and size, and color are a result of adaptive evolution. The evolution of morphological novelties is particularly intriguing. An understanding of these evolutionary processes calls for the elucidation of the developmental and genetic mechanisms that result in particular fruit morphological characteristics, which determine seed dispersal. The genetic and developmental basis for fruit morphological variation was established at a microevolutionary time scale. Here, we summarize the progress on the evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit size, shape and color in the Solanaceae. Studies suggest that the recruitment of a pre-existing gene and subsequent modification of its interaction and regulatory networks are frequently involved in the evolution of morphological diversity. The basic mechanisms underlying changes in plant morphology are alterations in gene expression and/or gene function. We also deliberate on the future direction in evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation such as fruit type. These studies will provide insights into plant developmental processes and will help to improve the productivity and fruit quality of crops. PMID:25918515

  4. A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Recent advances in developmental biology have yielded detailed models of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) involved in cell specification and other processes in embryonic differentiation. Such networks form the bedrock on which a systems biology approach to developme...

  5. A SYSTEMS BIOLOGY APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Recent advances in developmental biology have yielded detailed models of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) involved in cell specification and other processes in embryonic differentiation. Such networks form the bedrock on which a systems biology approach to developme...

  6. Developmental biology and tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Marga, Francoise; Neagu, Adrian; Kosztin, Ioan; Forgacs, Gabor

    2007-12-01

    Morphogenesis implies the controlled spatial organization of cells that gives rise to tissues and organs in early embryonic development. While morphogenesis is under strict genetic control, the formation of specialized biological structures of specific shape hinges on physical processes. Tissue engineering (TE) aims at reproducing morphogenesis in the laboratory, i.e., in vitro, to fabricate replacement organs for regenerative medicine. The classical approach to generate tissues/organs is by seeding and expanding cells in appropriately shaped biocompatible scaffolds, in the hope that the maturation process will result in the desired structure. To accomplish this goal more naturally and efficiently, we set up and implemented a novel TE method that is based on principles of developmental biology and employs bioprinting, the automated delivery of cellular composites into a three-dimensional (3D) biocompatible environment. The novel technology relies on the concept of tissue liquidity according to which multicellular aggregates composed of adhesive and motile cells behave in analogy with liquids: in particular, they fuse. We emphasize the major role played by tissue fusion in the embryo and explain how the parameters (surface tension, viscosity) that govern tissue fusion can be used both experimentally and theoretically to control and simulate the self-assembly of cellular spheroids into 3D living structures. The experimentally observed postprinting shape evolution of tube- and sheet-like constructs is presented. Computer simulations, based on a liquid model, support the idea that tissue liquidity may provide a mechanism for in vitro organ building.

  7. Evolutionary Connectionism: Algorithmic Principles Underlying the Evolution of Biological Organisation in Evo-Devo, Evo-Eco and Evolutionary Transitions.

    PubMed

    Watson, Richard A; Mills, Rob; Buckley, C L; Kouvaris, Kostas; Jackson, Adam; Powers, Simon T; Cox, Chris; Tudge, Simon; Davies, Adam; Kounios, Loizos; Power, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms of variation, selection and inheritance, on which evolution by natural selection depends, are not fixed over evolutionary time. Current evolutionary biology is increasingly focussed on understanding how the evolution of developmental organisations modifies the distribution of phenotypic variation, the evolution of ecological relationships modifies the selective environment, and the evolution of reproductive relationships modifies the heritability of the evolutionary unit. The major transitions in evolution, in particular, involve radical changes in developmental, ecological and reproductive organisations that instantiate variation, selection and inheritance at a higher level of biological organisation. However, current evolutionary theory is poorly equipped to describe how these organisations change over evolutionary time and especially how that results in adaptive complexes at successive scales of organisation (the key problem is that evolution is self-referential, i.e. the products of evolution change the parameters of the evolutionary process). Here we first reinterpret the central open questions in these domains from a perspective that emphasises the common underlying themes. We then synthesise the findings from a developing body of work that is building a new theoretical approach to these questions by converting well-understood theory and results from models of cognitive learning. Specifically, connectionist models of memory and learning demonstrate how simple incremental mechanisms, adjusting the relationships between individually-simple components, can produce organisations that exhibit complex system-level behaviours and improve the adaptive capabilities of the system. We use the term "evolutionary connectionism" to recognise that, by functionally equivalent processes, natural selection acting on the relationships within and between evolutionary entities can result in organisations that produce complex system-level behaviours in evolutionary

  8. Human behavioral ecology, phenotypic (developmental) plasticity, and agricultural origins: insights from the emerging evolutionary synthesis.

    PubMed

    Gremillion, Kristen J; Piperno, Dolores R

    2009-10-01

    The fields of human behavioral ecology (HBE) and evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) both stand to make significant contributions to our understanding of agricultural origins. These two approaches share a concern with phenotypic-plasticity and its evolutionary significance. HBE considers the adaptive plasticity of the human phenotype in response to resource distribution in time and space and has helped to advance understanding of the economic costs and benefits of food production. However, evo-devo and the associated subject of phenotypic (developmental) plasticity have so far been largely neglected as sources of insight into the domestication of plants, despite growing evidence for their evolutionary importance in nature and their roles in the origins of novel traits. We argue that it is important to consider environmentally induced phenotypic variation resulting directly from both natural- and human-induced ecological change as a source of the distinctive morphologies of domesticated plants.

  9. Evolutionary bioscience as regulatory systems biology.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Eric H

    2011-09-01

    At present several entirely different explanatory approaches compete to illuminate the mechanisms by which animal body plans have evolved. Their respective relevance is briefly considered here in the light of modern knowledge of genomes and the regulatory processes by which development is controlled. Just as development is a system property of the regulatory genome, causal explanation of evolutionary change in developmental process must be considered at a system level. Here I enumerate some mechanistic consequences that follow from the conclusion that evolution of the body plan has occurred by alteration of the structure of developmental gene regulatory networks. The hierarchy and multiple additional design features of these networks act to produce Boolean regulatory state specification functions at upstream phases of development of the body plan. These are created by the logic outputs of network subcircuits, and in modern animals these outputs are impervious to continuous adaptive variation unlike genes operating more peripherally in the network.

  10. EVOLUTIONARY BIOSCIENCE AS REGULATORY SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Eric H.

    2011-01-01

    At present several entirely different explanatory approaches compete to illuminate the mechanisms by which animal body plans have evolved. Their respective relevance is briefly considered here in the light of modern knowledge of genomes and the regulatory processes by which development is controlled. Just as development is a system property of the regulatory genome, so causal explanation of evolutionary change in developmental process must be considered at a system level. Here I enumerate some mechanistic consequences that follow from the conclusion that evolution of the body plan has occurred by alteration of the structure of developmental gene regulatory networks. The hierarchy and multiple additional design features of these networks act to produce Boolean regulatory state specification functions at upstream phases of development of the body plan. These are created by the logic outputs of network subcircuits, and in modern animals these outputs are impervious to continuous adaptive variation unlike genes operating more peripherally in the network. PMID:21320483

  11. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease.

    PubMed

    Chuong, Edward B; Hannibal, Roberta L; Green, Sherril L; Baker, Julie C

    2013-12-01

    In all mammals including humans, development takes place within the protective environment of the maternal womb. Throughout gestation, nutrients and waste products are continuously exchanged between mother and fetus through the placenta. Despite the clear importance of the placenta to successful pregnancy and the health of both mother and offspring, relatively little is understood about the biology of the placenta and its role in pregnancy-related diseases. Given that pre- and peri-natal diseases involving the placenta affect millions of women and their newborns worldwide, there is an urgent need to understand placenta biology and development. Here, we suggest that the placenta is an organ under unique selective pressures that have driven its rapid diversification throughout mammalian evolution. The high divergence of the placenta complicates the use of non-human animal models and necessitates an evolutionary perspective when studying its biology and role in disease. We suggest that diversifying evolution of the placenta is primarily driven by intraspecies evolutionary conflict between mother and fetus, and that many pregnancy diseases are a consequence of this evolutionary force. Understanding how maternal-fetal conflict shapes both basic placental and reproductive biology - in all species - will provide key insights into diseases of pregnancy.

  12. Developmental systems biology flourishing on new technologies.

    PubMed

    Han, Jing-Dong J; Liu, Yi; Xue, Huiling; Xia, Kai; Yu, Hong; Zhu, Shanshan; Chen, Zhang; Zhang, Wei; Huang, Zheng; Jin, Chunyu; Xian, Bo; Li, Jing; Hou, Lei; Han, Yixing; Niu, Chaoqun; Alcon, Timothy C

    2008-10-01

    Organism development is a systems level process. It has benefited greatly from the recent technological advances in the field of systems biology. DNA microarray, phenome, interactome and transcriptome mapping, the new generation of deep sequencing technologies, and faster and better computational and modeling approaches have opened new frontiers for both systems biologists and developmental biologists to reexamine the old developmental biology questions, such as pattern formation, and to tackle new problems, such as stem cell reprogramming. As showcased in the International Developmental Systems Biology Symposium organized by Chinese Academy of Sciences, developmental systems biology is flourishing in many perspectives, from the evolution of developmental systems, to the underlying genetic and molecular pathways and networks, to the genomic, epigenomic and noncoding levels, to the computational analysis and modeling. We believe that the field will continue to reap rewards into the future with these new approaches.

  13. Gilbert Gottlieb: intermediator between psychology and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Jay S

    2007-12-01

    This article describes and evaluates Gilbert Gottlieb's role as an intermediator between psychology and evolutionary biology. He proposed that altered developmental conditions gave rise to new behavioral phenotypes (behavioral neophenotypes) that could provide the basis for initiating speciation. As an example, Gottlieb cited sympatric speciation of two species of fruit flies (Rhageletis pomella), which he believed was based on an ontogenetic shift in pupal feeding on apples or hawthorn fruit which determined their adult selection of apple or hawthorn trees for ovipositing. Recent evidence has provided additional links in the process of speciation of these fruit flies. Unlike other efforts to incorporate evolution in psychology, Gottlieb's theoretical contribution was based on actual evolutionary processes including recent developments in the field of evo-devo.

  14. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity.

    PubMed

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology.

  15. Extended evolutionary psychology: the importance of transgenerational developmental plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Stotz, Karola

    2014-01-01

    What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic (molecular and cellular), behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmental psychology. PMID:25191292

  16. Latent developmental and evolutionary shapes embedded within the grapevine leaf.

    PubMed

    Chitwood, Daniel H; Klein, Laura L; O'Hanlon, Regan; Chacko, Steven; Greg, Matthew; Kitchen, Cassandra; Miller, Allison J; Londo, Jason P

    2016-04-01

    Across plants, leaves exhibit profound diversity in shape. As a single leaf expands, its shape is in constant flux. Plants may also produce leaves with different shapes at successive nodes. In addition, leaf shape varies among individuals, populations and species as a result of evolutionary processes and environmental influences. Because leaf shape can vary in many different ways, theoretically, the effects of distinct developmental and evolutionary processes are separable, even within the shape of a single leaf. Here, we measured the shapes of > 3200 leaves representing > 270 vines from wild relatives of domesticated grape (Vitis spp.) to determine whether leaf shapes attributable to genetics and development are separable from each other. We isolated latent shapes (multivariate signatures that vary independently from each other) embedded within the overall shape of leaves. These latent shapes can predict developmental stages independent from species identity and vice versa. Shapes predictive of development were then used to stage leaves from 1200 varieties of domesticated grape (Vitis vinifera), revealing that changes in timing underlie leaf shape diversity. Our results indicate that distinct latent shapes combine to produce a composite morphology in leaves, and that developmental and evolutionary contributions to shape vary independently from each other.

  17. Robust Design of Biological Circuits: Evolutionary Systems Biology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Liou, Jing-Jia

    2011-01-01

    Artificial gene circuits have been proposed to be embedded into microbial cells that function as switches, timers, oscillators, and the Boolean logic gates. Building more complex systems from these basic gene circuit components is one key advance for biologic circuit design and synthetic biology. However, the behavior of bioengineered gene circuits remains unstable and uncertain. In this study, a nonlinear stochastic system is proposed to model the biological systems with intrinsic parameter fluctuations and environmental molecular noise from the cellular context in the host cell. Based on evolutionary systems biology algorithm, the design parameters of target gene circuits can evolve to specific values in order to robustly track a desired biologic function in spite of intrinsic and environmental noise. The fitness function is selected to be inversely proportional to the tracking error so that the evolutionary biological circuit can achieve the optimal tracking mimicking the evolutionary process of a gene circuit. Finally, several design examples are given in silico with the Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the robust performance of the proposed design method. The result shows that the designed gene circuits can robustly track desired behaviors with minimal errors even with nontrivial intrinsic and external noise. PMID:22187523

  18. Robust design of biological circuits: evolutionary systems biology approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Liou, Jing-Jia

    2011-01-01

    Artificial gene circuits have been proposed to be embedded into microbial cells that function as switches, timers, oscillators, and the Boolean logic gates. Building more complex systems from these basic gene circuit components is one key advance for biologic circuit design and synthetic biology. However, the behavior of bioengineered gene circuits remains unstable and uncertain. In this study, a nonlinear stochastic system is proposed to model the biological systems with intrinsic parameter fluctuations and environmental molecular noise from the cellular context in the host cell. Based on evolutionary systems biology algorithm, the design parameters of target gene circuits can evolve to specific values in order to robustly track a desired biologic function in spite of intrinsic and environmental noise. The fitness function is selected to be inversely proportional to the tracking error so that the evolutionary biological circuit can achieve the optimal tracking mimicking the evolutionary process of a gene circuit. Finally, several design examples are given in silico with the Monte Carlo simulation to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the robust performance of the proposed design method. The result shows that the designed gene circuits can robustly track desired behaviors with minimal errors even with nontrivial intrinsic and external noise.

  19. Adaptive Developmental Delay in Chagas Disease Vectors: An Evolutionary Ecology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Menu, Frédéric; Ginoux, Marine; Rajon, Etienne; Lazzari, Claudio R.; Rabinovich, Jorge E.

    2010-01-01

    Background The developmental time of vector insects is important in population dynamics, evolutionary biology, epidemiology and in their responses to global climatic change. In the triatomines (Triatominae, Reduviidae), vectors of Chagas disease, evolutionary ecology concepts, which may allow for a better understanding of their biology, have not been applied. Despite delay in the molting in some individuals observed in triatomines, no effort was made to explain this variability. Methodology We applied four methods: (1) an e-mail survey sent to 30 researchers with experience in triatomines, (2) a statistical description of the developmental time of eleven triatomine species, (3) a relationship between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability, (4) a mathematical optimization model of evolution of developmental delay (diapause). Principal Findings 85.6% of responses informed on prolonged developmental times in 5th instar nymphs, with 20 species identified with remarkable developmental delays. The developmental time analysis showed some degree of bi-modal pattern of the development time of the 5th instars in nine out of eleven species but no trend between development time pattern and climatic inter-annual variability was observed. Our optimization model predicts that the developmental delays could be due to an adaptive risk-spreading diapause strategy, only if survival throughout the diapause period and the probability of random occurrence of “bad” environmental conditions are sufficiently high. Conclusions/Significance Developmental delay may not be a simple non-adaptive phenotypic plasticity in development time, and could be a form of adaptive diapause associated to a physiological mechanism related to the postponement of the initiation of reproduction, as an adaptation to environmental stochasticity through a spreading of risk (bet-hedging) strategy. We identify a series of parameters that can be measured in the field and laboratory to test

  20. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: Dictyostelium discoideum

    PubMed Central

    Schaap, Pauline

    2011-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum belongs to a group of multicellular life forms that can also exist for long periods as single cells. This ability to shift between uni- and multicellularity makes the group ideal for studying the genetic changes that occurred at the crossroads between uni- and multicellular life. In this Primer, I discuss the mechanisms that control multicellular development in Dictyostelium discoideum and reconstruct how some of these mechanisms evolved from a stress response in the unicellular ancestor. PMID:21205784

  1. Evolutionary developmental biology in cycad phenology.

    PubMed

    Gorelick, Root; Marler, Thomas E

    2012-05-01

    We recently described lack of phenotypic plasticity in reproductive organ development and substantial plasticity in vegetative organ development for the cycad Cycas micronesica. Is there an evo-devo explanation for the disparity in phenotypic plasticity of vegetative vs. reproductive organs? Despite modularity, might evolution of cycad phenology be controlled more by drift than selection?

  2. Evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental psychology: understanding the evolution of human behavior and development.

    PubMed

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Causey, Kayla

    2010-02-01

    This is an introduction to this special issue on evolutionary psychology (EP) and evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP). We suggest here that, contrary to some common assumptions, mainstream psychology continues to be essentially non Darwinian and that EP and EDP are new approaches that can potentially help us to change this situation. We then present the organization of the special issue (composed of six papers). We conclude that evolution is certainly not the final consideration in psychology, but emphasize its importance as the basis upon which all modern behaviors and development are built.

  3. [Modern evolutional developmental biology: mechanical and molecular genetic or phenotypic approaches?].

    PubMed

    Vorob'eva, É I

    2010-01-01

    Heightened interest in the evolutionary problems of developmental biology in the 1980s was due to the success of molecular genetics and disappointment in the synthetic theory of evolution, where the chapters of embryology and developmental biology seem to have been left out. Modern evo-devo, which turned out to be antipodean to the methodology of the synthetic theory of evolution, propagandized in the development of evolutionary problems only the mechanical and molecular genetic approach to the evolution of ontogenesis, based on cellular and intercellular interactions. The phonotypical approach to the evaluation of evolutionary occurrences in ontogenesis, which aids in the joining of the genetic and epigenetic levels of research, the theory of natural selection, the nomogenetic conception, and the problem of the wholeness of the organism in onto- and phylogenesis may be against this. The phenotypic approach to ontogenesis is methodologically the most perspective for evolutionary developmental biology.

  4. Evolutionary Developmental Robotics: Improving Morphology and Control of Physical Robots.

    PubMed

    Vujovic, Vuk; Rosendo, Andre; Brodbeck, Luzius; Iida, Fumiya

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms have previously been applied to the design of morphology and control of robots. The design space for such tasks can be very complex, which can prevent evolution from efficiently discovering fit solutions. In this article we introduce an evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) experiment with real-world robots. It allows robots to grow their leg size to simulate ontogenetic morphological changes, and this is the first time that such an experiment has been performed in the physical world. To test diverse robot morphologies, robot legs of variable shapes were generated during the evolutionary process and autonomously built using additive fabrication. We present two cases with evo-devo experiments and one with evolution, and we hypothesize that the addition of a developmental stage can be used within robotics to improve performance. Moreover, our results show that a nonlinear system-environment interaction exists, which explains the nontrivial locomotion patterns observed. In the future, robots will be present in our daily lives, and this work introduces for the first time physical robots that evolve and grow while interacting with the environment.

  5. An extended synthesis for evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2009-06-01

    Evolutionary theory is undergoing an intense period of discussion and reevaluation. This, contrary to the misleading claims of creationists and other pseudoscientists, is no harbinger of a crisis but rather the opposite: the field is expanding dramatically in terms of both empirical discoveries and new ideas. In this essay I briefly trace the conceptual history of evolutionary theory from Darwinism to neo-Darwinism, and from the Modern Synthesis to what I refer to as the Extended Synthesis, a more inclusive conceptual framework containing among others evo-devo, an expanded theory of heredity, elements of complexity theory, ideas about evolvability, and a reevaluation of levels of selection. I argue that evolutionary biology has never seen a paradigm shift, in the philosophical sense of the term, except when it moved from natural theology to empirical science in the middle of the 19th century. The Extended Synthesis, accordingly, is an expansion of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and one that--like its predecessor--will probably take decades to complete.

  6. Evolutionary problems in centrosome and centriole biology.

    PubMed

    Ross, L; Normark, B B

    2015-05-01

    Centrosomes have been an enigma to evolutionary biologists. Either they have been the subject of ill-founded speculation or they have been ignored. Here, we highlight evolutionary paradoxes and problems of centrosome and centriole evolution and seek to understand them in the light of recent advances in centrosome biology. Most evolutionary accounts of centrosome evolution have been based on the hypothesis that centrosomes are replicators, independent of the nucleus and cytoplasm. It is now clear, however, that this hypothesis is not tenable. Instead, centrosomes are formed de novo each cell division, with the presence of an old centrosome regulating, but not essential for, the assembly of a new one. Centrosomes are the microtubule-organizing centres of cells. They can potentially affect sensory and motor characters (as the basal body of cilia), as well as the movements of chromosomes during cell division. This latter role does not seem essential, however, except in male meiosis, and the reasons for this remain unclear. Although the centrosome is absent in some taxa, when it is present, its structure is extraordinarily conserved: in most taxa across eukaryotes, it does not appear to evolve at all. And yet a few insect groups display spectacular hypertrophy of the centrioles. We discuss how this might relate to the unusual reproductive system found in these insects. Finally, we discuss why the fate of centrosomes in sperm and early embryos might differ between different groups of animals.

  7. Life history evolution and comparative developmental biology of echinoderms.

    PubMed

    Hart, Michael W

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary biologists studying life history variation have used echinoderms in experimental, laboratory, and field studies of life history evolution. This focus on echinoderms grew originally from the tradition of comparative embryology, in which echinoderms were central. The tools for obtaining and manipulating echinoderm gametes and larvae were taken directly from comparative embryological research. In addition, the comparative embryologists employed a diverse array of echinoderms, not a few model species, and this diversity has led to a broad understanding of the development, function, and evolution of echinoderm larvae. As a result, this branch of life history evolution has deep roots in comparative developmental biology of echinoderms. Here two main aspects of this relationship are reviewed. The first is a broad range of studies of fertilization biology, dispersal, population genetics, functional morphology, and asexual reproduction in which developmental biologists might take a keen interest because of the historical origins of this research in echinoderm comparative embryology. The second is a similarly broad variety of topics in life history research in which evolutionary biologists require techniques or data from developmental biology in order to make progress on understanding patterns of life history variation among echinoderm species and higher taxa. Both sets of topics provide opportunities for interaction and collaboration.

  8. Colour spaces in ecology and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Renoult, Julien P; Kelber, Almut; Schaefer, H Martin

    2017-02-01

    The recognition that animals sense the world in a different way than we do has unlocked important lines of research in ecology and evolutionary biology. In practice, the subjective study of natural stimuli has been permitted by perceptual spaces, which are graphical models of how stimuli are perceived by a given animal. Because colour vision is arguably the best-known sensory modality in most animals, a diversity of colour spaces are now available to visual ecologists, ranging from generalist and basic models allowing rough but robust predictions on colour perception, to species-specific, more complex models giving accurate but context-dependent predictions. Selecting among these models is most often influenced by historical contingencies that have associated models to specific questions and organisms; however, these associations are not always optimal. The aim of this review is to provide visual ecologists with a critical perspective on how models of colour space are built, how well they perform and where their main limitations are with regard to their most frequent uses in ecology and evolutionary biology. We propose a classification of models based on their complexity, defined as whether and how they model the mechanisms of chromatic adaptation and receptor opponency, the nonlinear association between the stimulus and its perception, and whether or not models have been fitted to experimental data. Then, we review the effect of modelling these mechanisms on predictions of colour detection and discrimination, colour conspicuousness, colour diversity and diversification, and for comparing the perception of colour traits between distinct perceivers. While a few rules emerge (e.g. opponent log-linear models should be preferred when analysing very distinct colours), in general model parameters still have poorly known effects. Colour spaces have nonetheless permitted significant advances in ecology and evolutionary biology, and more progress is expected if ecologists

  9. Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David

    2010-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069

  10. Genetics and developmental biology of cooperation.

    PubMed

    Kasper, Claudia; Vierbuchen, Maddalena; Ernst, Ulrich; Fischer, Stefan; Radersma, Reinder; Raulo, Aura; Cunha-Saraiva, Filipa; Wu, Min; Mobley, Kenyon B; Taborsky, Barbara

    2017-09-01

    Despite essential progress towards understanding the evolution of cooperative behaviour, we still lack detailed knowledge about its underlying molecular mechanisms, genetic basis, evolutionary dynamics and ontogeny. An international workshop "Genetics and Development of Cooperation," organized by the University of Bern (Switzerland), aimed at discussing the current progress in this research field and suggesting avenues for future research. This review uses the major themes of the meeting as a springboard to synthesize the concepts of genetic and nongenetic inheritance of cooperation, and to review a quantitative genetic framework that allows for the inclusion of indirect genetic effects. Furthermore, we argue that including nongenetic inheritance, such as transgenerational epigenetic effects, parental effects, ecological and cultural inheritance, provides a more nuanced view of the evolution of cooperation. We summarize those genes and molecular pathways in a range of species that seem promising candidates for mechanisms underlying cooperative behaviours. Concerning the neurobiological substrate of cooperation, we suggest three cognitive skills necessary for the ability to cooperate: (i) event memory, (ii) synchrony with others and (iii) responsiveness to others. Taking a closer look at the developmental trajectories that lead to the expression of cooperative behaviours, we discuss the dichotomy between early morphological specialization in social insects and more flexible behavioural specialization in cooperatively breeding vertebrates. Finally, we provide recommendations for which biological systems and species may be particularly suitable, which specific traits and parameters should be measured, what type of approaches should be followed, and which methods should be employed in studies of cooperation to better understand how cooperation evolves and manifests in nature. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Blake; Narwani, Anita; Hausch, Stephen; Nonaka, Etsuko; Peter, Hannes; Yamamichi, Masato; Sullam, Karen E; Bird, Kali C; Thomas, Mridul K; Hanley, Torrance C; Turner, Caroline B

    2011-07-01

    At present, the disciplines of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science are weakly integrated. As a result, we have a poor understanding of how the ecological and evolutionary processes that create, maintain, and change biological diversity affect the flux of energy and materials in global biogeochemical cycles. The goal of this article was to review several research fields at the interfaces between ecosystem science, community ecology and evolutionary biology, and suggest new ways to integrate evolutionary biology and ecosystem science. In particular, we focus on how phenotypic evolution by natural selection can influence ecosystem functions by affecting processes at the environmental, population and community scale of ecosystem organization. We develop an eco-evolutionary model to illustrate linkages between evolutionary change (e.g. phenotypic evolution of producer), ecological interactions (e.g. consumer grazing) and ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). We conclude by proposing experiments to test the ecosystem consequences of evolutionary changes. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Summarizing craniofacial genetics and developmental biology (SCGDB).

    PubMed

    Hall, Brian K

    2014-04-01

    This overview article highlights active areas of research in craniofacial genetics and developmental biology as reflected in presentations given at the 34th annual meeting of the Society of Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB) in Montreal, Quebec on October 11, 2011. This 1-day meeting provided a stimulating occasion that demonstrated the present status of research in craniofacial genetics and developmental biology and where the field is heading. To accompany the abstracts published in this issue I have selected several themes that emerged from the meeting. After discussing the basis on which craniofacial defects/syndromes are classified and investigated, I address the multi-gene basis of craniofacial syndromes with an examination of the roles of Sox9 and FGF receptors in normal and abnormal craniofacial development. I then turn to the knowledge being gained from population-wide and longitudinal cohort studies and from the discovery of new signaling centers that regulate craniofacial development.

  13. The Best and the Worst of Times for Evolutionary Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses opportunities and challenges for the field of evolutionary biology, particularly in areas related to molecular genetic technologies, the environment, biodiversity, and public education. (Author/KHR)

  14. The Best and the Worst of Times for Evolutionary Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Avise, John C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses opportunities and challenges for the field of evolutionary biology, particularly in areas related to molecular genetic technologies, the environment, biodiversity, and public education. (Author/KHR)

  15. The evolutionary consequences of biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Suarez, Andrew V; Tsutsui, Neil D

    2008-01-01

    A major challenge of invasion biology is the development of a predictive framework that prevents new invasions. This is inherently difficult because different biological characteristics are important at the different stages of invasion: opportunity/transport, establishment and spread. Here, we draw from recent research on a variety of taxa to examine the evolutionary causes and consequences of biological invasions. The process of introduction may favour species with characteristics that promote success in highly disturbed, human-dominated landscapes, thus exerting novel forms of selection on introduced populations. Moreover, evidence is accumulating that multiple introductions can often be critical to the successful establishment and spread of introduced species, as they may be important sources of genetic variation necessary for adaptation in new environments or may permit the introduction of novel traits. Thus, not only should the introduction of new species be prevented, but substantial effort should also be directed to preventing the secondary introduction of previously established species (and even movement of individuals among introduced populations). Modern molecular techniques can take advantage of genetic changes postintroduction to determine the source of introduced populations and their vectors of spread, and to elucidate the mechanisms of success of some invasive species. Moreover, the growing availability of genomic tools will permit the identification of underlying genetic causes of invasive success.

  16. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.

  17. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Badyaev, Alexander V.

    2011-01-01

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework—natural selection and inheritance—the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification. PMID:21490021

  18. Evolutionary Ideas Held by Experienced South African Biology Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyriacou, Xenia; de Beer, Josef; Ramnarain, Umesh

    2015-01-01

    With evolutionary biology relatively recently introduced into the South African school curriculum, the need arose to explore practising teachers' knowledge of the subject. A number of anticipated as well as unanticipated cognitive and affective barriers to the understanding of evolutionary biology were identified from a questionnaire with…

  19. A Modeling Approach to Teaching Evolutionary Biology in High Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, Jim

    2002-01-01

    Describes the commitments and research that went into the design of a 9-week high school course in evolutionary biology designed to bring students to an understanding of the practice of evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using one of the discipline's most important explanatory models. (Contains 39 references.)…

  20. NASA Developmental Biology Workshop: A summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A. (Editor); Halstead, T. W. (Editor)

    1985-01-01

    The Life Sciences Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as part of its continuing assessment of its research program, convened a workshop on Developmental Biology to determine whether there are important scientific studies in this area which warrant continued or expanded NASA support. The workshop consisted of six panels, each of which focused on a single major phylogenetic group. The objectives of each panel were to determine whether gravity plays a role in the ontogeny of their subject group, to determine whether the microgravity of spaceflight can be used to help understand fundamental problems in developmental biology, to develop the rationale and hypotheses for conducting NASA-relevant research in development biology both on the ground and in space, and to identify any unique equipment and facilities that would be required to support both ground-based and spaceflight experiments.

  1. Biology by numbers: mathematical modelling in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Tomlin, Claire J; Axelrod, Jeffrey D

    2007-05-01

    In recent years, mathematical modelling of developmental processes has earned new respect. Not only have mathematical models been used to validate hypotheses made from experimental data, but designing and testing these models has led to testable experimental predictions. There are now impressive cases in which mathematical models have provided fresh insight into biological systems, by suggesting, for example, how connections between local interactions among system components relate to their wider biological effects. By examining three developmental processes and corresponding mathematical models, this Review addresses the potential of mathematical modelling to help understand development.

  2. Craniofacial development in marsupial mammals: developmental origins of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kathleen K

    2006-05-01

    Biologists have long studied the evolutionary consequences of the differences in reproductive and life history strategies of marsupial and eutherian mammals. Over the past few decades, the impact of these strategies on the development of the marsupial embryo and neonate has received attention. In this review, the differences in development in the craniofacial region in marsupial and eutherian mammals will be discussed. The review will highlight differences at the organogenic and cellular levels, and discuss hypotheses for shifts in the expression of important regulatory genes. The major difference in the organogenic period is a whole-scale shift in the relative timing of central nervous system structures, in particular those of the forebrain, which are delayed in marsupials, relative to the structures of the oral-facial apparatus. Correlated with the delay in development of nervous system structures, the ossification of the bones of the neurocranium are delayed, while those of the face are accelerated. This study will also review work showing that the neural crest, which provides much of the cellular material to the facial skeleton and may also carry important patterning information, is notably accelerated in its development in marsupials. Potential consequences of these observations for hypotheses on constraint, evolutionary integration, and the existence of developmental modules is discussed. Finally, the implications of these results for hypotheses on the genetic modulation of craniofacial patterning are presented.

  3. Planarian embryology in the era of comparative developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Martín-Durán, José M; Monjo, Francisco; Romero, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    During the last decade, the field of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has emerged as a major research discipline in modern biology and an essential approach to understanding evolutionary relationships in the animal kingdom. At the same time, planarians have become a useful and important model with which to address basic questions regarding the molecular and cellular basis of regeneration, tissue repair and stem cells in adult organisms. Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to their embryonic development, even though this provides a unique opportunity for studying how molecular developmental mechanisms are re-deployed during adult regeneration or the independent losses of spiral cleavage that took place in different lophotrochozoan lineages. In this paper, we review the most relevant works on planarian embryos from a historical point of view. In doing so, we highlight the questions that have recurrently intrigued researchers, most of which remain unanswered. Finally, we present a comprehensive scenario for planarian embryogenesis in an attempt to provide a testable hypothesis that will help to bridge the gap between this divergent mode of development, the ancestral canonical spiral cleavage, and adult planarian regeneration.

  4. Body plan of turtles: an anatomical, developmental and evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Nagashima, Hiroshi; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Uchida, Katsuhisa; Kawashima-Ohya, Yoshie; Narita, Yuichi; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2012-03-01

    The evolution of the turtle shell has long been one of the central debates in comparative anatomy. The turtle shell consists of dorsal and ventral parts: the carapace and plastron, respectively. The basic structure of the carapace comprises vertebrae and ribs. The pectoral girdle of turtles sits inside the carapace or the rib cage, in striking contrast to the body plan of other tetrapods. Due to this topological change in the arrangement of skeletal elements, the carapace has been regarded as an example of evolutionary novelty that violates the ancestral body plan of tetrapods. Comparing the spatial relationships of anatomical structures in the embryos of turtles and other amniotes, we have shown that the topology of the musculoskeletal system is largely conserved even in turtles. The positional changes seen in the ribs and pectoral girdle can be ascribed to turtle-specific folding of the lateral body wall in the late developmental stages. Whereas the ribs of other amniotes grow from the axial domain to the lateral body wall, turtle ribs remain arrested axially. Marginal growth of the axial domain in turtle embryos brings the morphologically short ribs in to cover the scapula dorsocaudally. This concentric growth appears to be induced by the margin of the carapace, which involves an ancestral gene expression cascade in a new location. These comparative developmental data allow us to hypothesize the gradual evolution of turtles, which is consistent with the recent finding of a transitional fossil animal, Odontochelys, which did not have the carapace but already possessed the plastron.

  5. Evolutionary psychology from a developmental systems perspective: comment on Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003).

    PubMed

    Bjorklund, David F

    2003-11-01

    Although agreeing with R. Lickliter and H. Honeycutt (2003) that evolutionary psychology lacks and should adopt a coherent developmental model to explain how evolved mechanisms become expressed in phenotypes, it is argued that adhering to the principles of developmental systems theory, despite enhancing evolutionary psychology, would not change appreciably its basic focus. The concepts of innateness and modularity, what is inherited and what evolves, as well as the possible role of developmental plasticity in the evolution of human cognition are discussed. It is proposed that evolutionary psychology can incorporate the developmental systems perspective into its theorizing, with the end result being a science that more closely reflects human nature.

  6. Developmental biology meets materials science: Morphogenesis of biomineralized structures.

    PubMed

    Wilt, Fred H

    2005-04-01

    Biomineralization is the process by which metazoa form hard minerals for support, defense, and feeding. The minerals so formed, e.g., teeth, bones, shells, carapaces, and spicules, are of considerable interest to chemists and materials scientists. The cell biology underlying biomineralization is not well understood. The study of the formation of mineralized structures in developing organisms offers opportunities for understanding some intriguing aspects of cell and developmental biology. Five examples of biomineralization are presented: (1) the formation of siliceous spicules and frustules in sponges and diatoms, respectively; (2) the structure of skeletal spicules composed of amorphous calcium carbonate in some tunicates; (3) the secretion of the prism and nacre of some molluscan shells; (4) the development of skeletal spicules of sea urchin embryos; and (5) the formation of enamel of vertebrate teeth. Some speculations on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that support biomineralization, and their evolutionary origins, are discussed.

  7. Gravitational studies in cellular and developmental biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spooner, B. S.

    1992-01-01

    The paucity of data on the role of gravity in cellular and developmental biology has been examined, and a hypothesis has been generated that unifies potential gravity sensitivity in both plant and animal systems. This hypothesis considers the macromolecular order and functional importance of the extracellular matrix compartment, the intracellular cytoskeleton compartment, and the connecting plasma membrane-signal transduction compartment of plant and animal systems as potentially sensitive to alterations in the unit gravity environment in which they evolved.

  8. Gravitational studies in cellular and developmental biology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spooner, B. S.

    1992-01-01

    The paucity of data on the role of gravity in cellular and developmental biology has been examined, and a hypothesis has been generated that unifies potential gravity sensitivity in both plant and animal systems. This hypothesis considers the macromolecular order and functional importance of the extracellular matrix compartment, the intracellular cytoskeleton compartment, and the connecting plasma membrane-signal transduction compartment of plant and animal systems as potentially sensitive to alterations in the unit gravity environment in which they evolved.

  9. Unleashing Optics and Optoacoustics for Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Ripoll, J; Koberstein-Schwarz, B; Ntziachristos, V

    2015-11-01

    The past decade marked an optical revolution in biology: an unprecedented number of optical techniques were developed and adopted for biological exploration, demonstrating increasing interest in optical imaging and in vivo interrogations. Optical methods have become faster and have reached nanoscale resolution, and are now complemented by optoacoustic (photoacoustic) methods capable of imaging whole specimens in vivo. Never before were so many optical imaging barriers broken in such a short time-frame: with new approaches to optical microscopy and mesoscopy came an increased ability to image biology at unprecedented speed, resolution, and depth. This review covers the most relevant techniques for imaging in developmental biology, and offers an outlook on the next steps for these technologies and their applications.

  10. Evolutionary indirect effects of biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Lau, Jennifer A

    2012-09-01

    Just as ecological indirect effects can have a wide range of consequences for community structure and ecosystem function, theory suggests that evolutionary indirect effects can also influence community dynamics and the outcome of species interactions. There is little empirical evidence documenting such effects, however. Here, I use a multi-generation selection experiment in the field to investigate: (1) how the exotic plant Medicago polymorpha and the exotic insect herbivore Hypera brunneipennis affect the evolution of anti-herbivore resistance traits in the native plant Lotus wrangelianus and (2) how observed Lotus evolutionary responses to Hypera alter interactions between Lotus and other members of the herbivore community. In one of two study populations, I document rapid evolutionary changes in Lotus resistance to Hypera in response to insecticide treatments that experimentally reduced Hypera abundance, and in response to Medicago-removal treatments that also reduced Hypera abundance. These evolutionary changes in response to Hypera result in reduced attack by aphids. Thus, an evolutionary change caused by one herbivore species alters interactions with other herbivore taxa, an example of an eco-evolutionary feedback. Given that many traits mediate interactions with multiple species, the effects of evolutionary changes in response to one key biotic selective agent may often cascade through interaction webs to influence additional community members.

  11. Developmental influences on fertility decisions by women: an evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Tickner, M.; McAllister, L. S.; Sheppard, P.

    2016-01-01

    Developmental environments are crucial for shaping our life course. Elements of the early social and biological environments have been consistently associated with reproduction in humans. To date, a strong focus has been on the relationship between early stress, earlier menarche and first child birth in women. These associations, found predominately in high-income countries, have been usefully interpreted within life-history theory frameworks. Fertility, on the other hand—a missing link between an individual's early environment, reproductive strategy and fitness—has received little attention. Here, we synthesize this literature by examining the associations between early adversity, age at menarche and fertility and fecundity in women. We examine the evidence that potential mechanisms such as birth weight, childhood body composition, risky health behaviours and developmental influences on attractiveness link the early environment and fecundity and fertility. The evidence that menarche is associated with fertility and fecundity is good. Currently, owing to the small number of correlational studies and mixed methodologies, the evidence that early adversity predicts fecundity and fertility is not conclusive. This area of research is in its infancy; studies examining early adversity and adult fertility decisions that can also examine likely biological, social and psychological pathways present opportunities for future fertility research. PMID:27022073

  12. The anatomy and ontogeny of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of Lemur catta and Propithecus coquereli (primates): discussion on the parallelism between ontogeny and phylogeny and implications for evolutionary and developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Molnar, Julia L; Smith, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Most anatomical studies of primates focus on skeletal tissues, but muscular anatomy can provide valuable information about phylogeny, functional specializations, and evolution. Herein, we present the first detailed description of the head, neck, pectoral, and upper limb muscles of the fetal lemuriforms Lemur catta (Lemuridae) and Propithecus coquereli (Indriidae). These two species belong to the suborder Strepsirrhini, which is often presumed to possess some plesiomorphic anatomical features within primates. We compare the muscular anatomy of the fetuses with that of infants and adults and discuss the evolutionary and developmental implications. The fetal anatomy reflects a phylogenetically more plesiomorphic condition in nine of the muscles we studied and a more derived condition in only two, supporting a parallel between ontogeny and phylogeny. The derived exceptions concern muscles with additional insertions in the fetus which are lost in adults of the same species, that is, flexor carpi radialis inserts on metacarpal III and levator claviculae inserts on the clavicle. Interestingly, these two muscles are involved in movements of the pectoral girdle and upper limb, which are mainly important for activities in later stages of life, such as locomotion and prey capture, rather than activities in fetal life. Accordingly, our findings suggest that some exceptions to the "ontogeny parallels phylogeny" rule are probably driven more by ontogenetic constraints than by adaptive plasticity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Lessons from developmental biology for regenerative medicine.

    PubMed

    Turner, Neill J; Keane, Timothy J; Badylak, Stephen F

    2013-09-01

    The ultimate goal of regenerative medicine is the functional restoration of lost or damaged tissues and organs. Since most tissues in man lack true regenerative properties and instead respond to injury with an inflammatory response and scar tissue formation, regenerative medicine strategies that include combinations of cells, scaffolds, and bioactive molecules to replace injured or missing tissues have been developed. The physical, chemical, and electrical cues that define the microenvironmental niche and the effect of these influences upon cell behavior during development are of interest to developmental biologists, with obvious overlap to the interest of the regenerative medicine field. This manuscript provides an overview of current approaches for tissue restoration being investigated in the field of regenerative medicine and attempts to identify areas of mutual beneficial interest with the field of developmental biology.

  14. An Evolutionary Framework for Carpel Developmental Control Genes.

    PubMed

    Pfannebecker, Kai C; Lange, Matthias; Rupp, Oliver; Becker, Annette

    2017-02-01

    Carpels are the female reproductive organs of flowering plants (angiosperms), enclose the ovules, and develop into fruits. The presence of carpels unites angiosperms, and they are suggested to be the most important autapomorphy of the angiosperms, e.g., they prevent inbreeding and allow efficient seed dispersal. Many transcriptional regulators and coregulators essential for carpel development are encoded by diverse gene families and well characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana. Among these regulators are AGAMOUS (AG), ETTIN (ETT), LEUNIG (LUG), SEUSS (SEU), SHORT INTERNODE/STYLISH (SHI/STY), and SEPALLATA1, 2, 3, 4 (SEP1, 2, 3, 4). However, the timing of the origin and their subsequent molecular evolution of these carpel developmental regulators are largely unknown. Here, we have sampled homologs of these carpel developmental regulators from the sequenced genomes of a wide taxonomic sampling of the land plants, such as Physcomitrella patens, Selaginella moellendorfii, Picea abies, and several angiosperms. Careful phylogenetic analyses were carried out that provide a phylogenetic background for the different gene families and provide minimal estimates for the ages of these developmental regulators. Our analyses and published work show that LUG-, SEU-, and SHI/STY-like genes were already present in the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) of all land plants, AG- and SEP-like genes were present in the MRCA of seed plants and their origin may coincide with the ξ Whole Genome Duplication. Our work shows that the carpel development regulatory network was, in part, recruited from preexisting network components that were present in the MRCA of angiosperms and modified to regulate gynoecium development. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Robert R; Beasley, DeAnna E

    2016-12-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales. This review highlights how insect-based citizen science has led to the expansion of specimen collections and reframed research questions in light of new observations and unexpected discoveries. Given the rapid expansion of human-modified (and inhabited) environments, the degree to which the public can participate in insect-based citizen science will allow us to track and monitor evolutionary trends at a global scale. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. The evolutionary biology of child health.

    PubMed

    Crespi, Bernard

    2011-05-22

    I apply evolutionary perspectives and conceptual tools to analyse central issues underlying child health, with emphases on the roles of human-specific adaptations and genomic conflicts in physical growth and development. Evidence from comparative primatology, anthropology, physiology and human disorders indicates that child health risks have evolved in the context of evolutionary changes, along the human lineage, affecting the timing, growth-differentiation phenotypes and adaptive significance of prenatal stages, infancy, childhood, juvenility and adolescence. The most striking evolutionary changes in humans are earlier weaning and prolonged subsequent pre-adult stages, which have structured and potentiated maladaptations related to growth and development. Data from human genetic and epigenetic studies, and mouse models, indicate that growth, development and behaviour during pre-adult stages are mediated to a notable degree by effects from genomic conflicts and imprinted genes. The incidence of cancer, the primary cause of non-infectious childhood mortality, mirrors child growth rates from birth to adolescence, with paediatric cancer development impacted by imprinted genes that control aspects of growth. Understanding the adaptive significance of child growth and development phenotypes, in the context of human-evolutionary changes and genomic conflicts, provides novel insights into the causes of disease in childhood.

  17. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?

  18. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Sanchez, Elena; Toboso-Navasa, Amparo; Romero-Camarero, Isabel; Barajas-Diego, Marcos

    2011-01-01

    The latest scientific findings in the field of cancer research are redefining our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, moving the emphasis toward the study of the mechanisms underlying the alteration of the normal processes of cellular differentiation. The concepts best exemplifying this new vision are those of cancer stem cells and tumoral reprogramming. The study of the biology of acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) has provided seminal experimental evidence supporting these new points of view. Furthermore, in the case of B cells, it has been shown that all the stages of their normal development show a tremendous degree of plasticity, allowing them to be reprogrammed to other cellular types, either normal or leukemic. Here we revise the most recent discoveries in the fields of B-cell developmental plasticity and B-ALL research and discuss their interrelationships and their implications for our understanding of the biology of the disease. PMID:22031225

  19. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Renda, Brian A; Hammerling, Michael J; Barrick, Jeffrey E

    2014-07-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales.

  20. Evolutionary developmental pathology and anthropology: A new field linking development, comparative anatomy, human evolution, morphological variations and defects, and medicine.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Smith, Christopher M; Ziermann, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    We introduce a new subfield of the recently created field of Evolutionary-Developmental-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-Anth): Evolutionary-Developmental-Pathology-and-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-P'Anth). This subfield combines experimental and developmental studies of nonhuman model organisms, biological anthropology, chordate comparative anatomy and evolution, and the study of normal and pathological human development. Instead of focusing on other organisms to try to better understand human development, evolution, anatomy, and pathology, it places humans as the central case study, i.e., as truly model organism themselves. We summarize the results of our recent Evo-Devo-P'Anth studies and discuss long-standing questions in each of the broader biological fields combined in this subfield, paying special attention to the links between: (1) Human anomalies and variations, nonpentadactyly, homeotic transformations, and "nearest neighbor" vs. "find and seek" muscle-skeleton associations in limb+facial muscles vs. other head muscles; (2) Developmental constraints, the notion of "phylotypic stage," internalism vs. externalism, and the "logic of monsters" vs. "lack of homeostasis" views about human birth defects; (3) Human evolution, reversions, atavisms, paedomorphosis, and peromorphosis; (4) Scala naturae, Haeckelian recapitulation, von Baer's laws, and parallelism between phylogeny and development, here formally defined as "Phylo-Devo parallelism"; and (5) Patau, Edwards, and Down syndrome (trisomies 13, 18, 21), atavisms, apoptosis, heart malformations, and medical implications.

  1. Women in evolution - highlighting the changing face of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Wellenreuther, Maren; Otto, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    The face of science has changed. Women now feature alongside men at the forefront of many fields, and this is particularly true in evolutionary biology. This special issue celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of women in evolutionary biology, by highlighting a sample of their research and accomplishments. In addition to original research contributions, this collection of articles contains personal reflections to provide perspective and advice on succeeding as a woman in science. By showcasing the diversity and research excellence of women and drawing on their experiences, we wish to enhance the visibility of female scientists and provide inspiration as well as role models. These are exciting times for evolutionary biology, and the field is richer and stronger for the diversity of voices contributing to the field.

  2. Emergence, hierarchy and top-down causation in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Okasha, Samir

    2012-02-06

    The concept of emergence and the related notion of 'downward causation' have arisen in numerous branches of science, and have also been extensively discussed in philosophy. Here, I examine emergence and downward causation in relation to evolutionary biology. I focus on the old, but ongoing discussion in evolutionary biology over the 'levels of selection' question: which level(s) of the biological hierarchy natural selection acts at, e.g. the gene, individual, group or species level? The concept of emergence has arisen in the levels-of-selection literature as a putative way of distinguishing between 'true' selection at a higher level from cases where selection acts solely at the lower level but has effects that percolate up the biological hierarchy, generating the appearance of higher level selection. At first blush, this problem seems to share a common structure with debates about emergence in other areas, but closer examination shows that it turns on issues that are sui generis to biology.

  3. Measuring the Evolutionary Rewiring of Biological Networks

    PubMed Central

    Shou, Chong; Bhardwaj, Nitin; Lam, Hugo Y. K.; Yan, Koon-Kiu; Kim, Philip M.; Snyder, Michael; Gerstein, Mark B.

    2011-01-01

    We have accumulated a large amount of biological network data and expect even more to come. Soon, we anticipate being able to compare many different biological networks as we commonly do for molecular sequences. It has long been believed that many of these networks change, or “rewire”, at different rates. It is therefore important to develop a framework to quantify the differences between networks in a unified fashion. We developed such a formalism based on analogy to simple models of sequence evolution, and used it to conduct a systematic study of network rewiring on all the currently available biological networks. We found that, similar to sequences, biological networks show a decreased rate of change at large time divergences, because of saturation in potential substitutions. However, different types of biological networks consistently rewire at different rates. Using comparative genomics and proteomics data, we found a consistent ordering of the rewiring rates: transcription regulatory, phosphorylation regulatory, genetic interaction, miRNA regulatory, protein interaction, and metabolic pathway network, from fast to slow. This ordering was found in all comparisons we did of matched networks between organisms. To gain further intuition on network rewiring, we compared our observed rewirings with those obtained from simulation. We also investigated how readily our formalism could be mapped to other network contexts; in particular, we showed how it could be applied to analyze changes in a range of “commonplace” networks such as family trees, co-authorships and linux-kernel function dependencies. PMID:21253555

  4. Evolutionary developmental transition from median to paired morphology of vertebrate fins: Perspectives from twin-tail goldfish.

    PubMed

    Abe, Gembu; Ota, Kinya G

    2016-12-07

    Vertebrate morphology has been evolutionarily modified by natural and/or artificial selection. The morphological variation of goldfish is a representative example. In particular, the twin-tail strain of ornamental goldfish shows highly diverged anal and caudal fin morphology: bifurcated anal and caudal fins. Recent molecular developmental genetics research revealed that a stop codon mutation in one of the two recently duplicated chordin genes is important for the highly diverged fin morphology of twin-tail goldfish. However, some issues still need to be discussed in the context of evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). For example, the bifurcated anal and caudal fins of twin-tail goldfish provided early researchers with insights into the origin of paired fins (pectoral and pelvic fins), but no subsequent researchers have discussed this topic. In addition, although the fossil jawless vertebrate species Euphanerops is also known to have had a bifurcated anal fin, how the bifurcated anal fin of twin-tail goldfish is related to that of fossil jawless vertebrate species has never been investigated. In this review, we present an overview of the early anatomical and embryological studies of twin-tail goldfish. Moreover, based on the similarity of embryonic features between the secondarily bifurcated competent stripe in twin-tail goldfish and the trunk bilateral competent stripes in conventional gnathostomes, we hypothesized that they share the same molecular developmental mechanisms. We also postulate that the bifurcated anal fin of Euphanerops might be caused by the same type of modification of dorsal-ventral patterning that occurs in the twin-tail goldfish, unlike the previously suggested evolutionary process that required the co-option of paired fin developmental mechanisms. Understanding the molecular developmental genetics of twin-tail goldfish allows us to further investigate the evolutionary developmental mechanisms of the origin of paired fins.

  5. Evolutionary psychology and developmental dynamics: comment on Lickliter and Honeycutt (2003).

    PubMed

    Buss, David M; Reeve, H Kern

    2003-11-01

    Evolutionary psychology provides a cogent metatheory for psychological science. It has furnished compelling theories of major domains of human functioning, including mating, parenting, kinship, morality, cooperation, conflict, aggression, and aesthetics. It has produced hundreds of empirical discoveries missed entirely by prior psychologists. Developmental dynamics, properly conceived, can add to the theoretical foundation of evolutionary psychology. But it has not provided alternative theories capable of explaining the many detailed empirical discoveries made by evolutionary' psychologists. Nor has it generated a comparable bounty of new empirical discoveries. By critical scientific standards--theoretical cogency, predictive accuracy, interdisciplinary consistency, and empirical harvest--modern evolutionary psychology fares well compared with alternatives.

  6. Developmental biology on unmanned space craft.

    PubMed

    Ubbels, G A

    1992-01-01

    Even the short period (6-7 min) of real microgravity during Sounding Rocket (SR) flights has provided important basic new information about the influence of the lack of gravity on particular developmental processes. However some of the reports also clearly revealed the need of an increased number of larger samples per experiment. The SR provides a very appropriate way for testing of specific flight hardware designed for experiments on long-duration missions. It was stated that the number of flight opportunities should be extended, in order to keep scientists interested in the performance of Space experiments. To this end ESA and USSR have started to collaborate in the BIOKOSMOS-9 Mission with the aim of continuing that collaboration in the future, to provide additional unmanned flight opportunities with a duration of 10-14 days. The reports on experiments performed on Biokosmos-9 showed that such missions can be a very useful extension of flight opportunities, although several of the experimental conditions should be improved. In comparison with the 1988 COSPAR meeting, the material presented at the 1990 COSPAR Session on Developmental Biology showed considerable progress in methodology: the more descriptive phase is over, the period of the actual microgravity-experiments has started, and cell- and molecular biological approaches are increasingly applied. It also became clear that in experiments with relatively small cells (plant cells, human A431 epidermoid carcinoma cells and lymphocytes) the experimental results from flight experiments were often identical to those obtained in simulated microgravity. When applicable to the biological systems involved, users should more often consider the application of such Earth-based methods, that is not only in preparation of a real Space experiment. Finally, it was emphasized that some of the results from earlier experiments, which were assumed to demonstrate real microgravity effects, might have only seemingly been due to

  7. Evolutionary game theory as a framework for studying biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Pintor, Lauren M; Brown, Joel S; Vincent, Thomas L

    2011-04-01

    Although biological invasions pose serious threats to biodiversity, they also provide the opportunity to better understand interactions between the ecological and evolutionary processes structuring populations and communities. However, ecoevolutionary frameworks for studying species invasions are lacking. We propose using game theory and the concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) as a conceptual framework for integrating the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of invasions. We suggest that the pathways by which a recipient community may have no ESS provide mechanistic hypotheses for how such communities may be vulnerable to invasion and how invaders can exploit these vulnerabilities. We distinguish among these pathways by formalizing the evolutionary contexts of the invader relative to the recipient community. We model both the ecological and the adaptive dynamics of the interacting species. We show how the ESS concept provides new mechanistic hypotheses for when invasions result in long- or short-term increases in biodiversity, species replacement, and subsequent evolutionary changes.

  8. Teaching and research on Developmental Biology in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Thorsteinsdóttir, Sólveig; Rodrigues, Gabriela; Crespo, Eduardo G

    2009-01-01

    Developmental Biology has established itself as a solid field of teaching and research in Portugal. Its history is recent, generally considered to have started with the pioneering work of Augusto Celestino da Costa at the beginning of the 20th century. However, research groups were very few and, until the early 1990s, teaching beyond morphological and comparative embryology was uncommon. In 1994, the first university course dedicated to Developmental Biology as a separate field from Embryology was created at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon and a course on Plant Differentiation and Morphogenesis was also initiated. A Masters programme in Developmental Biology followed at the Lusofona University in 1996. Subsequently, modules of Developmental Biology were included in many Embryology courses and eventually more Developmental Biology courses were created. From 1999 onwards, the number of research groups working in Developmental Biology started to increase, many of which were initiated by researchers who had had the opportunity to pursue their PhD and/or post-doc studies abroad. The Instituto Gulbenkian de Cincia (Gulbenkian Institute of Science) became the first home of most of these groups, but several later spread to other institutions. This increased activity in turn has stimulated teaching of Developmental Biology and more students have been getting interested in the field. This positive feedback loop makes it a nice time to be teaching and working in Developmental Biology in Portugal.

  9. A systems biology representation of developmental anatomy

    PubMed Central

    Bard, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    The formation of any tissue involves differentiation, cell dynamics and interactions with adjacent tissues. This paper suggests that the complexity of the system as a whole can be represented as a mathematical graph, that is, a set of connected triples of the general form [term] [term]. Computationally, such graphs are widely used for modeling data; visually, they form hierarchies and networks. For morphogenesis, the triples are of the general structure , where nouns cover tissues, molecules and networks and verbs describe processes such as moves, differentiates, grows and apoptoses. The paper considers the general formalism of graphs, where graphs are already used in biology, and how developmental anatomy may be described using this format. Representing morphogenesis as a visual graph is complicated as the formalism has to incorporate tissue types, molecular signals, networks, dynamic processes and some aspects, at least, of tissue geometry. The formation of a capillary sprout is chosen as an example of how this complexity can be represented graphically, with colour used to distinguish tissues and molecules. There are three key benefits, beyond its compactness, in using the graph formalism of morphogenesis to complement experimentation. First, it emphasizes the distributed nature of causality in morphogenesis. Secondly, producing all the triples for the visual graph requires explicit formalization of each aspect of the process, and this, in turn, often exposes gaps in knowledge and so suggests new experiments. Thirdly, once the graph has been formalized, triples can be annotated with associated information or IDs (e.g. cell types, publications, gene-expression data) that link to external online resources that may be regularly updated. Such annotations allow the graph to be viewed as a self-maintaining review. The graph approach sees dynamic processes as the drivers of developmental momentum and, because the same processes are

  10. A systems biology representation of developmental anatomy.

    PubMed

    Bard, Jonathan

    2011-06-01

    The formation of any tissue involves differentiation, cell dynamics and interactions with adjacent tissues. This paper suggests that the complexity of the system as a whole can be represented as a mathematical graph, that is, a set of connected triples of the general form [term] [term]. Computationally, such graphs are widely used for modeling data; visually, they form hierarchies and networks. For morphogenesis, the triples are of the general structure , where nouns cover tissues, molecules and networks and verbs describe processes such as moves, differentiates, grows and apoptoses. The paper considers the general formalism of graphs, where graphs are already used in biology, and how developmental anatomy may be described using this format. Representing morphogenesis as a visual graph is complicated as the formalism has to incorporate tissue types, molecular signals, networks, dynamic processes and some aspects, at least, of tissue geometry. The formation of a capillary sprout is chosen as an example of how this complexity can be represented graphically, with colour used to distinguish tissues and molecules. There are three key benefits, beyond its compactness, in using the graph formalism of morphogenesis to complement experimentation. First, it emphasizes the distributed nature of causality in morphogenesis. Secondly, producing all the triples for the visual graph requires explicit formalization of each aspect of the process, and this, in turn, often exposes gaps in knowledge and so suggests new experiments. Thirdly, once the graph has been formalized, triples can be annotated with associated information or IDs (e.g. cell types, publications, gene-expression data) that link to external online resources that may be regularly updated. Such annotations allow the graph to be viewed as a self-maintaining review. The graph approach sees dynamic processes as the drivers of developmental momentum and, because the same processes are

  11. Teaching evolutionary biology: Pressures, stress, and coping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffith, Joyce A.; Brem, Sarah K.

    2004-10-01

    Understanding what teachers need to be more comfortable and confident in their profession is crucial to the future of effective teachers and scientific literacy in public schools. This study focuses on the experiences of Arizona biology teachers in teaching evolution, using a clinical model of stress to identify sources of pressure, the resulting stresses, and coping strategies they employ to alleviate these stresses. We conducted focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and written surveys with 15 biology teachers from the Phoenix area. On the basis of their responses, teachers were clustered into three categories: Conflicted, who struggle with their own beliefs and the possible impact of their teaching, Selective, who carefully avoid difficult topics and situations, and Scientists, who see no place for controversial social issues in their science classroom. Teachers from each group felt that they could be more effective in teaching evolution if they possessed the most up-to-date information about evolution and genomics, a safe space in which to reflect on the possible social and personal implications with their peers, and access to richer lesson plans for teaching evolution that include not only science but personal stories regarding how the lessons arose, and what problems and opportunities they created.

  12. Basic and applied problems in developmental biology and immunobiology of cestode infections: Hymenolepis, Taenia and Echinococcus.

    PubMed

    Ito, A

    2015-02-01

    Differentiation and development of parasites, including longevity in host animals, are thought to be governed by host-parasite interactions. In this review, several topics on the developmental biology of cestode infections are discussed from immunobiological perspective with a focus on Hymenolepis, Taenia and Echinococcus infections. The basic premise of this review is that 'differentiation and development of cestodes' are somehow affected by host immune responses with an evolutionary history.

  13. Warmth as a Developmental Construct: An Evolutionary Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacDonald, Kevin

    1992-01-01

    Provides an evolutionary account of the human affectional system. Warmth is conceptualized as a reward system which evolved to facilitate cohesive family relationships and paternal investment in children. Warmth must be distinguished from security of attachment. Relationships based on warmth can coexist with relationships based on exploitation.…

  14. Latent developmental and evolutionary shapes embedded within the grapevine leaf

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Across plants, leaves exhibit profound diversity in shape. As a single leaf expands, its shape is in constant flux. Plants may also produce leaves with different shapes at successive nodes. In addition, leaf shape varies among individuals, populations and species as a result of evolutionary processe...

  15. From experimental systems to evolutionary biology: an impossible journey?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2013-01-01

    The historical approach to the sciences has undergone a sea change during recent decades. Maybe the major contribution of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger to this movement was his demonstration of the importance of experimental systems, and of their transformations, in the development of the sciences. To describe these transformations, Hans-Jörg borrows metaphors from evolutionary biology. I want to argue that evolutionary biologists can find in these recent historical studies plenty of models and concepts to address unresolved issues in their discipline. At a time when transdisciplinarity is highly praised, it is useful to provide a precise description of the obstacles that have so far prevented this exchange.

  16. Regeneration in spiralians: evolutionary patterns and developmental processes.

    PubMed

    Bely, Alexandra E; Zattara, Eduardo E; Sikes, James M

    2014-01-01

    Animals differ markedly in their ability to regenerate, yet still little is known about how regeneration evolves. In recent years, important advances have been made in our understanding of animal phylogeny and these provide new insights into the phylogenetic distribution of regeneration. The developmental basis of regeneration is also being investigated in an increasing number of groups, allowing commonalities and differences across groups to become evident. Here, we focus on regeneration in the Spiralia, a group that includes several champions of animal regeneration, as well as many groups with more limited abilities. We review the phylogenetic distribution and developmental processes of regeneration in four major spiralian groups: annelids, nemerteans, platyhelminths, and molluscs. Although comparative data are still limited, this review highlights phylogenetic and developmental patterns that are emerging regarding regeneration in spiralians and identifies important avenues for future research.

  17. Evolutionary developmental perspective for the origin of turtles: the folding theory for the shell based on the developmental nature of the carapacial ridge.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Nagashima, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    The body plan of the turtle represents an example of evolutionary novelty for acquisition of the shell. Unlike similar armors in other vertebrate groups, the turtle shell involves the developmental repatterning of the axial skeleton and exhibits an unusual topography of musculoskeletal elements. Thus, the turtle provides an ideal case study for understanding changes in the developmental program associated with the morphological evolution of vertebrates. In this article, the evolution of the turtle-specific body plan is reviewed and discussed. The key to understanding shell patterning lies in the modification of the ribs, for which the carapacial ridge (CR), a turtle-specific embryonic anlage, is assumed to be responsible. The growth of the ribs is arrested in the axial part of the body, allowing dorsal and lateral oriented growth to encapsulate the scapula. Although the CR does not appear to induce this axial arrest per se, it has been shown to support the fan-shaped patterning of the ribs, which occurs concomitant with marginal growth of the carapace along the line of the turtle-specific folding that takes place in the lateral body wall. During the process of the folding, some trunk muscles maintain their ancestral connectivities, whereas the limb muscles establish new attachments specific to the turtle. The turtle body plan can thus be explained with our knowledge of vertebrate anatomy and developmental biology, consistent with the evolutionary origin of the turtle suggested by the recently discovered fossil species, Odontochelys.

  18. Evolutionary systems biology: what it is and why it matters.

    PubMed

    Soyer, Orkun S; O'Malley, Maureen A

    2013-08-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is a rapidly growing integrative approach that has the core aim of generating mechanistic and evolutionary understanding of genotype-phenotype relationships at multiple levels. ESB's more specific objectives include extending knowledge gained from model organisms to non-model organisms, predicting the effects of mutations, and defining the core network structures and dynamics that have evolved to cause particular intracellular and intercellular responses. By combining mathematical, molecular, and cellular approaches to evolution, ESB adds new insights and methods to the modern evolutionary synthesis, and offers ways in which to enhance its explanatory and predictive capacities. This combination of prediction and explanation marks ESB out as a research manifesto that goes further than its two contributing fields. Here, we summarize ESB via an analysis of characteristic research examples and exploratory questions, while also making a case for why these integrative efforts are worth pursuing.

  19. Developmental palaeobiology of trilobite eyes and its evolutionary significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, A. T.

    2005-06-01

    Understanding of the calcified composite eyes of trilobites, the oldest preserved visual system, has advanced greatly in recent decades. Three types of trilobite eye occur, the more derived abathochroal and schizochroal types having evolved neotenically from holochroal eyes. Comparative morphology and phylogenetic considerations suggest that all three eye-types were underlain by common developmental systems. So far, understanding of these systems has been based entirely on morphological data from fossils, particularly the way the visual surface grew and the patterning of lens emplacement. Lenses characteristically form a hexagonal array comprising horizontal rows and, conspicuously in schizochroal eyes, dorso-ventral files. Because individual trilobites sometimes have eyes with different numbers of files, file number must reflect the operation of a developmental programme rather than being under immediate genetic control. An empirical developmental model has been devised to describe trilobite eye development, with separate rules dealing with the initiation of lens emplacement, growth and differentiation of the visual surface, and the termination of lens emplacement. Rarely, trilobites may have visual surfaces of normal size, but which lack lenses. This confirms that visual surface growth must have been regulated separately from lens emplacement, and is a feature that cannot be accounted for by the existing developmental model. Such a developmental separation is one of a number of similarities shared with Drosophila, the modern arthropod in which eye development is best understood. Many aspects of eye development are conserved in the Euarthropoda, and in bilaterian metazoans in general. A revised model for trilobite eye development is proposed using extant phylogenetic bracketing, interpreting morphological data from the fossils in the context of the hierarchy of developmental controls now becoming known from living animals. This new model suggests that overall eye

  20. [Evolutionary medicine: an introduction. Evolutionary biology, a missing element in medical teaching].

    PubMed

    Swynghedauw, Bernard

    2009-05-01

    The aim of this brief review article is to help to reconcile medicine with evolutionary biology, a subject that should be taught in medical school. Evolutionary medicine takes the view that contemporary ills are related to an incompatibility between the environment in which humans currently live and their genomes, which have been shaped by diferent environmental conditions during biological evolution. Human activity has recently induced acute environmental modifications that have profoundly changed the medical landscape. Evolutionary biology is an irreversible, ongoing and discontinuous process characterized by periods of stasis followed by accelerations. Evolutionary biology is determined by genetic mutations, which are selected either by Darwinian selective pressure or randomly by genetic drift. Most medical events result from a genome/environment conflict. Some may be purely genetic, as in monogenic diseases, and others purely environmental, such as traffic accidents. Nevertheless, in most common diseases the clinical landscape is determined by the conflict between these two factors, the genetic elements of which are gradually being unraveled Three examples are examined in depth:--The medical consequences of the greenhouse effect. The absence of excess mortality during recent heat waves suggests that the main determinant of mortality in the 2003 heatwave was heatstroke and old age. The projected long-term effects of global warming call for research on thermolysis, a forgotten branch of physiology.--The hygiene hypothesis postulates that the exponential rise in autoimmune and allergic diseases is linked to lesser exposure to infectious agents, possibly involving counter-regulatory factors such as IL-10.--The recent rise in the incidence of obesity and type 2 diabetes in rich countries can be considered to result from a conflict between a calorie-rich environment and gene variants that control appetite. These variants are currently being identified by genome

  1. The developmental biology of feather follicles

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Mingke; Yue, Zhicao; Wu, Ping; Wu, Da-Yu; Mayer, Julie-Ann; Medina, Marcus; Widelitz, Randall B.; Jiang, Ting-Xin; Chuong, Cheng-Ming

    2015-01-01

    The feather is a complex epidermal organ with hierarchical branches and represents a multi-layered topological transformation of keratinocyte sheets. Feathers are made in feather follicles. The basics of feather morphogenesis were previously described (Lucas and Stettenheim, 1972). Here we review new molecular and cellular data. After feather buds form (Jiang et al., 2004), they invaginate into the dermis to form feather follicles. Above the dermal papilla is the proliferating epidermal collar. Distal to it is the ramogenic zone where the epidermal cylinder starts to differentiate into barb ridges or rachidial ridge. These neoptile feathers tend to be downy and radially symmetrical. They are replaced by teleoptile feathers which tend to be bilateral symmetrical and more diverse in shapes. We have recently developed a “transgenic feather” protocol that allows molecular analyses: BMPs enhance the size of the rachis, Noggin increases branching, while anti-SHH causes webbed branches. Different feather types formed during evolution (Wu et al., 2004). Pigment patterns along the body axis or intra-feather add more colorful distinctions. These patterns help facilitate the analysis of melanocyte behavior. Feather follicles have to be connected with muscles and nerve fibers, so they can be integrated into the physiology of the whole organism. Feathers, similarly to hairs, have the extraordinary ability to go through molting cycles and regenerate. Some work has been done and feather follicles might serve as a model for stem cell research. Feather phenotypes can be modulated by sex hormones and can help elucidate mechanisms of sex hormone-dependent growth control. Thus, the developmental biology of feather follicles provides a multi-dimension research paradigm that links molecular activities and cellular behaviors to functional morphology at the organismal level. PMID:15272383

  2. phyloXML: XML for evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.

    PubMed

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

    Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.

  3. Evolution, Science and Society: Evolutionary Biology and the National Research Agenda.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Futuyma, Douglas J.; Meagher, Thomas R.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses ways of advancing understanding of evolutionary biology which seeks to explain all the characteristics of organisms. Describes the goals of evolutionary biology, why it is important, and how it contributes to society and basic science. (ASK)

  4. The contribution of statistical physics to evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    de Vladar, Harold P; Barton, Nicholas H

    2011-08-01

    Evolutionary biology shares many concepts with statistical physics: both deal with populations, whether of molecules or organisms, and both seek to simplify evolution in very many dimensions. Often, methodologies have undergone parallel and independent development, as with stochastic methods in population genetics. Here, we discuss aspects of population genetics that have embraced methods from physics: non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, travelling waves and Monte-Carlo methods, among others, have been used to study polygenic evolution, rates of adaptation and range expansions. These applications indicate that evolutionary biology can further benefit from interactions with other areas of statistical physics; for example, by following the distribution of paths taken by a population through time. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Haploidy in Humans: An Evolutionary and Developmental Perspective.

    PubMed

    Sagi, Ido; Benvenisty, Nissim

    2017-06-19

    Although haploidy has not been observed in vertebrates, its natural occurrence in various eukaryotic species that had diverged from diploid ancestors suggests that there is an innate capacity for an organism to regain haploidy and that haploidy may confer evolutionary benefits. Haploid embryonic stem cells have been experimentally generated from mouse, rat, monkey, and humans. Haploidy results in major differences in cell size and gene expression levels while also affecting parental imprinting, X chromosome inactivation, and mitochondrial metabolism genes. We discuss here haploidy in evolution and the barriers to haploidy, in particular in the human context. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Embryonic development of goldfish (Carassius auratus): A model for the study of evolutionary change in developmental mechanisms by artificial selection

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Hsin-Yuan; Chang, Mariann; Liu, Shih-Chieh; Abe, Gembu; Ota, Kinya G

    2013-01-01

    Background: Highly divergent morphology among the different goldfish strains (Carassius auratus) may make it a suitable model for investigating how artificial selection has altered developmental mechanisms. Here we describe the embryological development of the common goldfish (the single fin Wakin), which retains the ancestral morphology of this species. Results: We divided goldfish embryonic development into seven periods consisting of 34 stages, using previously reported developmental indices of zebrafish and goldfish. Although several differences were identified in terms of their yolk size, epiboly process, pigmentation patterns, and development rate, our results indicate that the embryonic features of these two teleost species are highly similar in their overall morphology from the zygote to hatching stage. Conclusions: These results provide an opportunity for further study of the evolutionary relationship between domestication and development, through applying well-established zebrafish molecular biological resources to goldfish embryos. Developmental Dynamics 242:1262–1283, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Key findings This study provides the first reliable descriptions of normal embryonic stages of wild-type goldfish. The embryonic features of goldfish and zebrafish are almost directly comparable. Goldfish embryos provide a novel model for the investigation of the evolutionary relationship between domestication and development. PMID:23913853

  7. The use of information theory in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Adami, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task.

  8. The role of textbooks in communicating developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Browder, Leon W

    2003-01-01

    Writing a textbook that synthesized the field from the perspectives of embryology, genetics, cell biology and molecular biology was a challenge. Because this field evolves so rapidly, a textbook can only lay the basic foundation for understanding new information and provide the framework that helps scholars place new information into context throughout their career. In this essay, I propose that an international college of specialists be established to provide authoritative online updates on developmental biology topics as a service to students and the professional developmental biology community.

  9. History of studies on mammalian middle ear evolution: a comparative morphological and developmental biology perspective.

    PubMed

    Takechi, Masaki; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2010-09-15

    The mammalian middle ear represents one of the most fundamental morphological features that define this class of vertebrates. Its skeletal pattern differs conspicuously from those of other amniotes and has attracted the attention of comparative zoologists for about 200 years. To reconcile this morphological inconsistency, early comparative morphologists suggested that the mammalian middle ear was derived from elements of the jaw joint of nonmammalian amniotes. Fossils of mammalian ancestors also implied a transition in skeletal morphology that resulted in the mammalian state. During the latter half of the 20th century, developmental mechanisms controlling the formation of the jaw skeleton became the subject of studies in developmental biology and molecular genetics. Mammalian middle ear evolution can now be interpreted as a series of changes in the developmental program of the pharyngeal arches. In this review, we summarize the history of middle ear research, highlight some of the remaining problems, and suggest possible future directions. We propose that to understand mammalian middle ear evolution, it is essential to identify the critical developmental events underlying the particular mammalian anatomy and to describe the evolutionary sequence of changes in developmental and molecular terms. We also discuss the degree of consistency between the developmental explanation of the mammalian middle ear based on molecular biology and morphological changes in the fossil record.

  10. Comparative Evolutionary and Developmental Dynamics of the Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) Fiber Transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Mi-Jeong; Wendel, Jonathan F.

    2014-01-01

    The single-celled cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber provides an excellent model to investigate how human selection affects phenotypic evolution. To gain insight into the evolutionary genomics of cotton domestication, we conducted comparative transcriptome profiling of developing cotton fibers using RNA-Seq. Analysis of single-celled fiber transcriptomes from four wild and five domesticated accessions from two developmental time points revealed that at least one-third and likely one-half of the genes in the genome are expressed at any one stage during cotton fiber development. Among these, ∼5,000 genes are differentially expressed during primary and secondary cell wall synthesis between wild and domesticated cottons, with a biased distribution among chromosomes. Transcriptome data implicate a number of biological processes affected by human selection, and suggest that the domestication process has prolonged the duration of fiber elongation in modern cultivated forms. Functional analysis suggested that wild cottons allocate greater resources to stress response pathways, while domestication led to reprogrammed resource allocation toward increased fiber growth, possibly through modulating stress-response networks. This first global transcriptomic analysis using multiple accessions of wild and domesticated cottons is an important step toward a more comprehensive systems perspective on cotton fiber evolution. The understanding that human selection over the past 5,000+ years has dramatically re-wired the cotton fiber transcriptome sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture underlying cotton fiber synthesis and phenotypic evolution. PMID:24391525

  11. Comparative evolutionary and developmental dynamics of the cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber transcriptome.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Mi-Jeong; Wendel, Jonathan F

    2014-01-01

    The single-celled cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fiber provides an excellent model to investigate how human selection affects phenotypic evolution. To gain insight into the evolutionary genomics of cotton domestication, we conducted comparative transcriptome profiling of developing cotton fibers using RNA-Seq. Analysis of single-celled fiber transcriptomes from four wild and five domesticated accessions from two developmental time points revealed that at least one-third and likely one-half of the genes in the genome are expressed at any one stage during cotton fiber development. Among these, ~5,000 genes are differentially expressed during primary and secondary cell wall synthesis between wild and domesticated cottons, with a biased distribution among chromosomes. Transcriptome data implicate a number of biological processes affected by human selection, and suggest that the domestication process has prolonged the duration of fiber elongation in modern cultivated forms. Functional analysis suggested that wild cottons allocate greater resources to stress response pathways, while domestication led to reprogrammed resource allocation toward increased fiber growth, possibly through modulating stress-response networks. This first global transcriptomic analysis using multiple accessions of wild and domesticated cottons is an important step toward a more comprehensive systems perspective on cotton fiber evolution. The understanding that human selection over the past 5,000+ years has dramatically re-wired the cotton fiber transcriptome sets the stage for a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture underlying cotton fiber synthesis and phenotypic evolution.

  12. Developmental biology of pterobranch hemichordates: history and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Sato, Atsuko; Bishop, John D D; Holland, Peter W H

    2008-11-01

    Hemichordates, like echinoderms and chordates, are deuterostomes, and study of their developmental biology could shed light on chordate origins. To date, molecular developmental studies in hemichordates have been confined to the enteropneusts or acorn worms. Here, we introduce the developmental biology of the other group of hemichordate, the pterobranchs. Pterobranchs generally live in cold, deep waters; this has hampered studies of this group. However, about 40 years ago, the colonial pterobranchs Rhabdopleura compacta and R. normani were discovered from shallow water, which has facilitated their study. Using Rhabdopleura compacta from south-west England, we have initiated molecular developmental studies in pterobranchs. Here, we outline methods for collecting adults, larvae, and embryos and demonstrate culturing of larvae under laboratory conditions. Given that the larval and adult forms differ from enteropneusts, we suggest that molecular developmental studies of pterobranchs may offer new insights into chordate origins.

  13. Mapping an expanding territory: computer simulations in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Huneman, Philippe

    2014-08-01

    The pervasive use of computer simulations in the sciences brings novel epistemological issues discussed in the philosophy of science literature since about a decade. Evolutionary biology strongly relies on such simulations, and in relation to it there exists a research program (Artificial Life) that mainly studies simulations themselves. This paper addresses the specificity of computer simulations in evolutionary biology, in the context (described in Sect. 1) of a set of questions about their scope as explanations, the nature of validation processes and the relation between simulations and true experiments or mathematical models. After making distinctions, especially between a weak use where simulations test hypotheses about the world, and a strong use where they allow one to explore sets of evolutionary dynamics not necessarily extant in our world, I argue in Sect. 2 that (weak) simulations are likely to represent in virtue of the fact that they instantiate specific features of causal processes that may be isomorphic to features of some causal processes in the world, though the latter are always intertwined with a myriad of different processes and hence unlikely to be directly manipulated and studied. I therefore argue that these simulations are merely able to provide candidate explanations for real patterns. Section 3 ends up by placing strong and weak simulations in Levins' triangle, that conceives of simulations as devices trying to fulfil one or two among three incompatible epistemic values (precision, realism, genericity).

  14. Evolutionary Developmental Linguistics: Naturalization of the Faculty of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, John L.

    2009-01-01

    Since language is a biological trait, it is necessary to investigate its evolution, development, and functions, along with the mechanisms that have been set aside, and are now recruited, for its acquisition and use. It is argued here that progress toward each of these goals can be facilitated by new programs of research, carried out within a new…

  15. Evolutionary Developmental Linguistics: Naturalization of the Faculty of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Locke, John L.

    2009-01-01

    Since language is a biological trait, it is necessary to investigate its evolution, development, and functions, along with the mechanisms that have been set aside, and are now recruited, for its acquisition and use. It is argued here that progress toward each of these goals can be facilitated by new programs of research, carried out within a new…

  16. Biological mechanisms underlying evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders.

    PubMed

    Goto, Yukiori; Lee, Young-A; Yamaguchi, Yoshie; Jas, Emanuel

    2016-10-01

    Psychotic and mood disorders are brain dysfunctions that are caused by gene environment interactions. Although these disorders are disadvantageous and involve behavioral phenotypes that decrease the reproductive success of afflicted individuals in the modern human society, the prevalence of these disorders have remained constant in the population. Here, we propose several biological mechanisms by which the genes associated with psychotic and mood disorders could be selected for in specific environmental conditions that provide evolutionary bases for explanations of when, why, and where these disorders emerged and have been maintained in humans. We discuss the evolutionary origins of psychotic and mood disorders with specific focuses on the roles of dopamine and serotonin in the conditions of social competitiveness/hierarchy and maternal care and other potential mechanisms, such as social network homophily and symbiosis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Developmental Dyslexia: A Review of Biological Interactions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galaburda, Albert M.

    1985-01-01

    The author considers cerebral dominance and brain asymmetry, the development of the cerebral cortex and examples of aberrancy, and diseases of the immune system, all of which relate to recent anatomical and epidemiological findings in developmental dyslexia. These discoveries have led to testable hypotheses which may enhance current understandings…

  18. Developmental and evolutionary origins of the pharyngeal apparatus

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    The vertebrate pharyngeal apparatus, serving the dual functions of feeding and respiration, has its embryonic origin in a series of bulges found on the lateral surface of the head, the pharyngeal arches. Developmental studies have been able to discern how these structures are constructed and this has opened the way for an analysis of how the pharyngeal apparatus was assembled and modified during evolution. For many years, the role of the neural crest in organizing pharyngeal development was emphasized and, as this was believed to be a uniquely vertebrate cell type, it was suggested that the development of the pharyngeal apparatus of vertebrates was distinct from that of other chordates. However, it has now been established that a key event in vertebrate pharyngeal development is the outpocketing of the endoderm to form the pharyngeal pouches. Significantly, outpocketing of the pharyngeal endoderm is a basal deuterostome character and the regulatory network that mediates this process is conserved. Thus, the framework around which the vertebrate pharyngeal apparatus is built is ancient. The pharyngeal arches of vertebrates are, however, more complex and this can be ascribed to these structures being populated by neural crest cells, which form the skeletal support of the pharynx, and mesoderm, which will give rise to the musculature and the arch arteries. Within the vertebrates, as development progresses beyond the phylotypic stage, the pharyngeal apparatus has also been extensively remodelled and this has seemingly involved radical alterations to the developmental programme. Recent studies, however, have shown that these alterations were not as dramatic as previously believed. Thus, while the evolution of amniotes was believed to have involved the loss of gills and their covering, the operculum, it is now apparent that neither of these structures was completely lost. Rather, the gills were transformed into the parathyroid glands and the operculum still exists as an

  19. The developmental basis of an evolutionary diversification of female gametophyte structure in Piper and Piperaceae

    PubMed Central

    Madrid, Eric N.; Friedman, William E.

    2009-01-01

    Background and Aims Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development is a complex, yet homoplasious developmental pattern that is interesting from both evolutionary and developmental perspectives. Piper (Piperaceae) was chosen for this study of Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development because Piperales represent a ‘hotspot’ of female gametophyte developmental evolution and have been the subject of several recent molecular phylogenetic analyses. This wealth of phylogenetic and descriptive data make Piper an excellent candidate for inferring the evolutionary developmental basis for the origin of Fritillaria-type female gametophytes. Methods Developing ovules of Piper peltatum were taken from greenhouse collections, embedded in glycol methacrylate, and serially sectioned. Light microscopy and laser scanning confocal microscopy were combined to produce three-dimensional computer reconstructions of developing female gametophytes. The ploidies of the developing embryos and endosperms were calculated using microspectrofluorometry. Key Results The data describe female gametophyte development in Piper with highly detailed three-dimensional models, and document two previously unknown arrangements of megaspore nuclei during early development. Also collected were microspectrofluorometric data that indicate that Fritillaria-type female gametophyte development in Piper results in pentaploid endosperm. Conclusions The three-dimensional models resolve previous ambiguities in developmental interpretations of Fritillaria-type female gametophytes in Piper. The newly discovered arrangements of megaspore nuclei that are described allow for the construction of explicit hypotheses of female gametophyte developmental evolution within Piperaceae, and more broadly throughout Piperales. These detailed hypotheses indicate that the common ancestor of Piperaceae minus Verhuellia had a Drusa-type female gametophyte, and that evolutionary transitions to derived tetrasporic female

  20. Developmental and Evolutionary Significance of the Zygomatic Bone

    PubMed Central

    Heuzé, Yann; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Schwarz, Tobias; Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The zygomatic bone is derived evolutionarily from the orbital series. In most modern mammals the zygomatic bone forms a large part of the face and usually serves as a bridge that connects the facial skeleton to the neurocranium. Our aim is to provide information on the contribution of the zygomatic bone to variation in midfacial protrusion using three samples; humans, domesticated dogs, and monkeys. In each case, variation in midface protrusion is a heritable trait produced by one of three classes of transmission: localized dysmorphology associated with single gene dysfunction, selective breeding, or long‐term evolution from a common ancestor. We hypothesize that the shape of the zygomatic bone reflects its role in stabilizing the connection between facial skeleton and neurocranium and consequently, changes in facial protrusion are more strongly reflected by the maxilla and premaxilla. Our geometric morphometric analyses support our hypothesis suggesting that the shape of the zygomatic bone has less to do with facial protrusion. By morphometrically dissecting the zygomatic bone we have determined a degree of modularity among parts of the midfacial skeleton suggesting that these components have the ability to vary independently and thus can evolve differentially. From these purely morphometric data, we propose that the neural crest cells that are fated to contribute to the zygomatic bone experience developmental cues that distinguish them from the maxilla and premaxilla. The spatiotemporal and molecular identity of the cues that impart zygoma progenitors with their identity remains an open question that will require alternative data sets. Anat Rec, 299:1616–1630, 2016. © 2016 The Authors The Anatomical Record Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27870340

  1. Novel nuclear intron-spanning primers for Arecaceae evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Bacon, Christine D; Feltus, F Alex; Paterson, Andrew H; Bailey, C Donovan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, 96 nuclear 'conserved intron-scanning primers' were screened across subfamilies the Arecaceae (palms) for potential use in research focused on palm evolutionary biology. Primers were evaluated based on their ability to amplify single polymerase chain reaction products in Arecaceae, the clarity of sequencing reads, and the interspecific variability observed. Ultimately, the results suggest that: (i) seven of the loci are likely to be suitable when comparing non-Arecaceae outgroups and Arecaceae ingroups; (ii) seven loci may be of use when comparing subfamilies of Arecaceae; and (iii) four of the loci may be of use when comparing closely related genera.

  2. The Fin to Limb Transition: New Data, Interpretations, and Hypotheses from Paleontology and Developmental Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clack, Jennifer A.

    2009-05-01

    After a brief historical review of the fin to limb transition and consideration of a theoretical “prototetrapod,” this article considers new ideas generated from recent fossil finds and from developmental biology that bear on the question of how limbs, digits, limb joints, and pentadactyly evolved. Among the first changes to take place were those to the humerus, in concert with those to the breathing apparatus, and these adaptations were acquired while the animals were still basically aquatic with the evolution of digits occurring during this phase. Studies from developmental biology of modern taxa can be integrated with information from fossils to produce a fuller picture. The acquisition of pentadactyly was among the last changes to occur in the modification of a fin into a limb. This vision differs radically from older theoretical ideas which perceived land locomotion as the prime evolutionary force driving the transition.

  3. Zebrafish Xenograft: An Evolutionary Experiment in Tumour Biology.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Rachael A; Trieu, Nhu P V; Crawford, Bryan D

    2017-09-05

    Though the cancer research community has used mouse xenografts for decades more than zebrafish xenografts, zebrafish have much to offer: they are cheap, easy to work with, and the embryonic model is relatively easy to use in high-throughput assays. Zebrafish can be imaged live, allowing us to observe cellular and molecular processes in vivo in real time. Opponents dismiss the zebrafish model due to the evolutionary distance between zebrafish and humans, as compared to mice, but proponents argue for the zebrafish xenograft's superiority to cell culture systems and its advantages in imaging. This review places the zebrafish xenograft in the context of current views on cancer and gives an overview of how several aspects of this evolutionary disease can be addressed in the zebrafish model. Zebrafish are missing homologs of some human proteins and (of particular interest) several members of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family of proteases, which are known for their importance in tumour biology. This review draws attention to the implicit evolutionary experiment taking place when the molecular ecology of the xenograft host is significantly different than that of the donor.

  4. Biological stoichiometry: a chemical bridge between ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Elser, James

    2006-12-01

    The mission of the American Society of Naturalists is "to advance and diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences." In this article, I argue that the area of biology least integrated with knowledge of organic evolution is the field of ecosystem ecology, as evidenced by a semiquantitative literature survey of use of terms in the scientific literature. I present an overview of recent theoretical developments and empirical findings in the emerging field of biological stoichiometry (the study of the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in living systems). These developments hold some promise as a means to conceptually integrate ecosystem ecology, with its emphasis on flows and pools of energy and chemical elements, with evolutionary biology, with its emphasis on genetic fitness and the biochemical products of the genome. For example, recent evidence indicates that organismal C : P and N : P ratios have a major impact on biologically mediated flows of energy and phosphorus; in turn, variations among taxa in these ratios are connected to evolved differences in organismal growth rate because of the connection between growth rate and the need for increased allocation to P-rich ribosomal RNA. In this way, evolutionary change in growth-related traits, by altering organismal P requirements, has direct biogeochemical implications, while ecosystem conditions can constrain evolutionary acceleration of growth rates by imposing a direct P limitation on production of the needed biochemical machinery of growth. Thus, stoichiometric theory provides a broad biological principle that can interconvert the currencies and concerns of ecosystem ecology and evolutionary biology, facilitating integration of diverse fields of study and contributing to conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

  5. Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine.

    PubMed

    Nesse, Randolph M; Bergstrom, Carl T; Ellison, Peter T; Flier, Jeffrey S; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S; Perlman, Robert L; Schwartz, Mark D; Thomas, Mark G; Stearns, Stephen C; Valle, David

    2010-01-26

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease.

  6. Anthropology and the study of menopause: evolutionary, developmental, and comparative perspectives.

    PubMed

    Sievert, Lynnette Leidy

    2014-10-01

    This work aims to consider how the discipline of anthropology contributes to the study of menopause through evolutionary, developmental, and comparative perspectives. This study was a review of skeletal and ethnographic evidence for menopause and postreproductive life in humans' distant past, hypotheses for the evolution of menopause and long postreproductive life, variation in age at menopause with focus on childhood environments, and the study of variation in symptom experience across populations. Longevity, rather than capacity for menopause, sets humans apart from other primates. Skeletal evidence demonstrates that some Neanderthals and archaic Homo sapiens lived to the age at menopause and that at least one third of women in traditional foraging populations live beyond menopause. The evolutionary reasons for why women experience a long postreproductive life continue to be debated. A developmental perspective suggests that early childhood may be a critical time for the environment to irreversibly influence the number of oocytes or rate of follicular atresia and, ultimately, age at menopause. A comparative perspective examines symptom experience at midlife through participant observation, qualitative interviews, and quantitative instruments to gain a holistic understanding of the meaning, experience, and sociocultural context of menopause. An evolutionary perspective suggests that menopause is not a recent phenomenon among humans. A developmental perspective focuses on the influence of early childhood on ovarian function. A comparative perspective expands clinical norms and provides knowledge about the range of human variations.

  7. The Growth of Developmental Thought: Implications for a New Evolutionary Psychology

    PubMed Central

    Lickliter, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Evolution has come to be increasingly discussed in terms of changes in developmental processes rather than simply in terms of changes in gene frequencies. This shift is based in large part on the recognition that since all phenotypic traits arise during ontogeny as products of individual development, a primary basis for evolutionary change must be variations in the patterns and processes of development. Further, the products of development are epigenetic, not just genetic, and this is the case even when considering the evolutionary process. These insights have led investigators to reconsider the established notion of genes as the primary cause of development, opening the door to research programs focused on identifying how genetic and non-genetic factors coact to guide and constrain the process of development and its outcomes. I explore this growth of developmental thought and its implications for the achievement of a unified theory of heredity, development, and evolution and consider its implications for the realization of a new, developmentally-based evolutionary psychology. PMID:19956346

  8. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales.

    PubMed

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-04-26

    Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning.

  9. Biological causal links on physiological and evolutionary time scales

    PubMed Central

    Karmon, Amit; Pilpel, Yitzhak

    2016-01-01

    Correlation does not imply causation. If two variables, say A and B, are correlated, it could be because A causes B, or that B causes A, or because a third factor affects them both. We suggest that in many cases in biology, the causal link might be bi-directional: A causes B through a fast-acting physiological process, while B causes A through a slowly accumulating evolutionary process. Furthermore, many trained biologists tend to consistently focus at first on the fast-acting direction, and overlook the slower process in the opposite direction. We analyse several examples from modern biology that demonstrate this bias (codon usage optimality and gene expression, gene duplication and genetic dispensability, stem cell division and cancer risk, and the microbiome and host metabolism) and also discuss an example from linguistics. These examples demonstrate mutual effects between the fast physiological processes and the slow evolutionary ones. We believe that building awareness of inference biases among biologists who tend to prefer one causal direction over another could improve scientific reasoning. PMID:27113916

  10. Fewer invited talks by women in evolutionary biology symposia.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, J; Dugdale, H L; Radersma, R; Hinsch, M; Buehler, D M; Saul, J; Porter, L; Liker, A; De Cauwer, I; Johnson, P J; Santure, A W; Griffin, A S; Bolund, E; Ross, L; Webb, T J; Feulner, P G D; Winney, I; Szulkin, M; Komdeur, J; Versteegh, M A; Hemelrijk, C K; Svensson, E I; Edwards, H; Karlsson, M; West, S A; Barrett, E L B; Richardson, D S; van den Brink, V; Wimpenny, J H; Ellwood, S A; Rees, M; Matson, K D; Charmantier, A; Dos Remedios, N; Schneider, N A; Teplitsky, C; Laurance, W F; Butlin, R K; Horrocks, N P C

    2013-09-01

    Lower visibility of female scientists, compared to male scientists, is a potential reason for the under-representation of women among senior academic ranks. Visibility in the scientific community stems partly from presenting research as an invited speaker at organized meetings. We analysed the sex ratio of presenters at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) Congress 2011, where all abstract submissions were accepted for presentation. Women were under-represented among invited speakers at symposia (15% women) compared to all presenters (46%), regular oral presenters (41%) and plenary speakers (25%). At the ESEB congresses in 2001-2011, 9-23% of invited speakers were women. This under-representation of women is partly attributable to a larger proportion of women, than men, declining invitations: in 2011, 50% of women declined an invitation to speak compared to 26% of men. We expect invited speakers to be scientists from top ranked institutions or authors of recent papers in high-impact journals. Considering all invited speakers (including declined invitations), 23% were women. This was lower than the baseline sex ratios of early-mid career stage scientists, but was similar to senior scientists and authors that have published in high-impact journals. High-quality science by women therefore has low exposure at international meetings, which will constrain Evolutionary Biology from reaching its full potential. We wish to highlight the wider implications of turning down invitations to speak, and encourage conference organizers to implement steps to increase acceptance rates of invited talks.

  11. Evolutionary developmental studies of cyclostomes and the origin of the vertebrate neck.

    PubMed

    Kuratani, Shigeru

    2008-06-01

    Because they lack some gnathostome-specific traits, cyclostomes have often been regarded as representing an intermediate state linking non-vertebrate chordates and gnathostomes. To understand the evolutionary origins of the jaw and paired fins, lamprey embryos and larvae have been used as comparative models. The lack of the jaw-neck region is a conspicuous feature specific to cyclostomes; however, the absence of these features has been largely neglected both in evolutionary developmental studies and in the field of classical comparative embryology. This review seeks to develop a possible evolutionary scenario of the vertebrate neck muscles by taking the cucullaris (trapezius) muscle as the focus. By combining the comparative embryology of lampreys and gnathostomes, and considering the molecular-level developmental mechanism of skeletal muscle differentiation, this review argues that the establishment of the vertebrate neck deserves to be called an evolutionary novelty based on the remodeling of mesenchymal components between the cranium and the shoulder girdle, which involves both mesodermal and neural crest cell lineages.

  12. Cognitive Developmental Biology: History, Process and Fortune's Wheel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

    Biological contributions to cognitive development continue to be conceived predominantly along deterministic lines, with proponents of different positions arguing about the preponderance of gene-based versus experience-based influences that organize brain circuits irreversibly during prenatal or early postnatal life, and evolutionary influences…

  13. Cognitive Developmental Biology: History, Process and Fortune's Wheel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balaban, Evan

    2006-01-01

    Biological contributions to cognitive development continue to be conceived predominantly along deterministic lines, with proponents of different positions arguing about the preponderance of gene-based versus experience-based influences that organize brain circuits irreversibly during prenatal or early postnatal life, and evolutionary influences…

  14. Developmental plasticity as a cohesive evolutionary process between sympatric alternate-year insect cohorts

    PubMed Central

    Watts, P C; Thompson, D J

    2012-01-01

    Many species, particularly insects, pass through a series of distinct phases during their life history, with the developmental timing directed towards appropriate resources. Any factor that creates variation in developmental timing may partition a population into discrete populations—or ‘cohorts'. Where there is continued failure to recruit outside the natal cohort then alternate cohorts will have their own internal dynamics, eventually leading to independent demographic and evolutionary trajectories. By contrast, continued variation in development rates within a cohort–cohort splitting—may homogenise otherwise independent demographic units. Using a panel of 14 microsatellite loci, we quantify the genetic signature of apparent demographic isolation between coexisting, but alternate, semivoltine cohorts of the damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale at locations that span its distribution in the UK. We find consistently low levels of genetic divergence between sympatric cohorts of C. mercuriale, indicative of developmental plasticity during the larval stage (unregulated development) whereby some individuals complete their development outside the predominant 2-year (semivoltine) period. Thus, individuals that alter their developmental rate successfully recruit to a different cohort. Despite maintaining contrasting population sizes, gene flow between alternate cohorts broadly is sufficient to place them on a similar evolutionary trajectory and also buffers against loss of genetic diversity. Such flexible larval development permits a response to local conditions and may facilitate response to environmental change. PMID:21792228

  15. Developmental plasticity as a cohesive evolutionary process between sympatric alternate-year insect cohorts.

    PubMed

    Watts, P C; Thompson, D J

    2012-03-01

    Many species, particularly insects, pass through a series of distinct phases during their life history, with the developmental timing directed towards appropriate resources. Any factor that creates variation in developmental timing may partition a population into discrete populations-or 'cohorts'. Where there is continued failure to recruit outside the natal cohort then alternate cohorts will have their own internal dynamics, eventually leading to independent demographic and evolutionary trajectories. By contrast, continued variation in development rates within a cohort-cohort splitting-may homogenise otherwise independent demographic units. Using a panel of 14 microsatellite loci, we quantify the genetic signature of apparent demographic isolation between coexisting, but alternate, semivoltine cohorts of the damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale at locations that span its distribution in the UK. We find consistently low levels of genetic divergence between sympatric cohorts of C. mercuriale, indicative of developmental plasticity during the larval stage (unregulated development) whereby some individuals complete their development outside the predominant 2-year (semivoltine) period. Thus, individuals that alter their developmental rate successfully recruit to a different cohort. Despite maintaining contrasting population sizes, gene flow between alternate cohorts broadly is sufficient to place them on a similar evolutionary trajectory and also buffers against loss of genetic diversity. Such flexible larval development permits a response to local conditions and may facilitate response to environmental change.

  16. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Griffin, Matthew E.; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C.

    2016-01-01

    Cell-surface glycans are a diverse class of macromolecules that participate in many key biological processes, including cell-cell communication, development, and disease progression. Thus, the ability to modulate the structures of glycans on cell surfaces provides a powerful means not only to understand fundamental processes but also to direct activity and elicit desired cellular responses. Here, we describe methods to sculpt glycans on cell surfaces and highlight recent successes in which artificially engineered glycans have been employed to control biological outcomes such as the immune response and stem cell fate. PMID:26933739

  17. Glycan Engineering for Cell and Developmental Biology.

    PubMed

    Griffin, Matthew E; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C

    2016-01-21

    Cell-surface glycans are a diverse class of macromolecules that participate in many key biological processes, including cell-cell communication, development, and disease progression. Thus, the ability to modulate the structures of glycans on cell surfaces provides a powerful means not only to understand fundamental processes but also to direct activity and elicit desired cellular responses. Here, we describe methods to sculpt glycans on cell surfaces and highlight recent successes in which artificially engineered glycans have been employed to control biological outcomes such as the immune response and stem cell fate.

  18. Childhood cancer and developmental biology a crucial partnership.

    PubMed

    Federico, Sara; Brennan, Rachel; Dyer, Michael A

    2011-01-01

    For many years, there were relatively few research efforts that bridged the fields of developmental biology and cancer genetics. However, in the past decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shift and now these two fields are intertwined. Part of the impetus for this transition came from the discovery that regulatory pathways that were previously thought to be uniquely important for developmental processes were also perturbed in cancer. In addition, the conceptual framework for understanding how cells self-renew or undergo unidirectional changes in competence during development has proven to be very useful in cancer biology as researchers explore tumor initiation and progression. Finally, a deeper understanding of the process of terminal differentiation and how that relates to cellular plasticity may have important implications for both cancer biology and developmental biology. Here we highlight some of the important connections between developmental neurobiology and cancer biology in retinoblastoma. By bridging these fields, important advances have been made in modeling retinoblastoma in mice, elucidating the cell-of-origin for retinoblastoma and identifying novel therapeutic approaches.

  19. Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: cyclostomes (lamprey and hagfish).

    PubMed

    Shimeld, Sebastian M; Donoghue, Phillip C J

    2012-06-01

    Lampreys and hagfish, which together are known as the cyclostomes or 'agnathans', are the only surviving lineages of jawless fish. They diverged early in vertebrate evolution, before the origin of the hinged jaws that are characteristic of gnathostome (jawed) vertebrates and before the evolution of paired appendages. However, they do share numerous characteristics with jawed vertebrates. Studies of cyclostome development can thus help us to understand when, and how, key aspects of the vertebrate body evolved. Here, we summarise the development of cyclostomes, highlighting the key species studied and experimental methods available. We then discuss how studies of cyclostomes have provided important insight into the evolution of fins, jaws, skeleton and neural crest.

  20. Social and developmental biology of the myxobacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Shimkets, L J

    1990-01-01

    Myxobacteria are soil bacteria whose unusually social behavior distinguishes them from other groups of procaryotes. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of their social behavior occurs during development, when tens of thousands of cells aggregate and form a colorful fruiting body. Inside the fruiting body the vegetative cells convert into dormant, resistant myxospores. However, myxobacterial social behavior is not restricted to the developmental cycle, and three other social behaviors have been described. Vegetative cells have a multigene social motility system in which cell-cell contact is essential for gliding in multicellular swarms. Cell growth on protein is cooperative in that the growth rate increases with the cell density. Rippling is a periodic behavior in which the cells align themselves in ridges and move in waves. These social behaviors indicate that myxobacterial colonies are not merely collections of individual cells but are societies in which cell behavior is synchronized by cell-cell interactions. The molecular basis of these social behaviors is becoming clear through the use of a combination of behavioral, biochemical, and genetic experimental approaches. Images PMID:1708086

  1. The molecular and developmental biology of keratins

    SciTech Connect

    Sawyer, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    Keratins make up the intermediate filaments found in almost all epithelia from fish to mammals, and are the products of multigene families. The great diversity in the form and function of epithelia and the tissue-specific expression of the keratins with their ''pairing rules'' makes the study of epithelial differentiation an excellent paradigm for studying the development regulation of gene expression. This book discusses the following contents: Introduction; The Human Keratin Genes and Their Differential Expression; Expression and Modification of keratins during Terminal Differentiation of Mammalian Epidermis; The Experimental Manipulation of Keratin Expression and Organization in Epithelial Cells and Somatic Cells Hybrids; Patterns of Keratin Expression Define Distinct Pathways of Epithelial Development and Differentiation; Developmental Expression of Human Epidermal Keratins and Filaggrin; Cytokeratins in Oocytes and Preimplantation Embryos of the Mouse; Role of Epidermal Growth Factor in Embryonic Development; Regulation of Keratin Gene Expression during Differentiation of Epidermal and Vaginal Epithelial Cells; Abnormal Development in the Skin of the Pupoid Fetus (pf/pf) Mutant Mouse; Abnormal Keratinization, Recovery of a Normal Phenotype, and Relationship of the Repeated Epilation (Er) Mutant Mouse. Expression of B-Keratin Genes during Development of Avian Skin Appendages; Concluding Remarks and Future Directions. Each chapter includes references and index.

  2. Light sheet microscopy for real-time developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Weber, Michael; Huisken, Jan

    2011-10-01

    Within only a few short years, light sheet microscopy has contributed substantially to the emerging field of real-time developmental biology. Low photo-toxicity and high-speed multiview acquisition have made selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) a popular choice for studies of organ morphogenesis and function in zebrafish, Drosophila, and other model organisms. A multitude of different light sheet microscopes have emerged for the noninvasive imaging of specimens ranging from single molecules to cells, tissues, and entire embryos. In particular, developmental biology can benefit from the ability to watch developmental events occur in real time in an entire embryo, thereby advancing our understanding on how cells form tissues and organs. However, it presents a new challenge to our existing data and image processing tools. This review gives an overview of where we stand as light sheet microscopy branches out, explores new areas, and becomes more specialized.

  3. The extracellular matrix of plants: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-31

    A symposium entitled ``The Extracellular Matrix of Plants: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology was held in Tamarron, Colorado, March 15--21, 1996. The following topics were explored in addresses by 43 speakers: structure and biochemistry of cell walls; biochemistry, molecular biology and biosynthesis of lignin; secretory pathway and synthesis of glycoproteins; biosynthesis of matrix polysaccharides, callose and cellulose; role of the extracellular matrix in plant growth and development; plant cell walls in symbiosis and pathogenesis.

  4. Modeling Radial Holoblastic Cleavage: A Laboratory Activity for Developmental Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Linda K.

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a laboratory activity designed for an undergraduate developmental biology course. Uses Play-Doh (plastic modeling clay) to build a multicellular embryo in order to provide a 3-D demonstration of cleavage. Includes notes for the instructor and student directions. (YDS)

  5. Applied Developmental Biology: Making Human Pancreatic Beta Cells for Diabetics.

    PubMed

    Melton, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the genes and signaling pathways that determine the differentiation and fate of a cell is a central goal of developmental biology. Using that information to gain mastery over the fates of cells presents new approaches to cell transplantation and drug discovery for human diseases including diabetes. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Modeling Radial Holoblastic Cleavage: A Laboratory Activity for Developmental Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Linda K.

    2000-01-01

    Introduces a laboratory activity designed for an undergraduate developmental biology course. Uses Play-Doh (plastic modeling clay) to build a multicellular embryo in order to provide a 3-D demonstration of cleavage. Includes notes for the instructor and student directions. (YDS)

  7. Evolutionary biology, community ecology and avian influenza research.

    PubMed

    Caron, Alexandre; Gaidet, Nicolas; de Garine-Wichatitsky, Michel; Morand, Serge; Cameron, Elissa Z

    2009-03-01

    The epidemiology of H5N1 HPAI is still unclear despite the efforts of the research community. Studies bringing new insights add more variability in the host-pathogen system and uncertainty in the prediction of local risks. Global analyses of the pathways of wild birds in parallel with virus outbreaks have brought limited conclusions once the raw information was extracted from relevant maps. In this article, we propose an integration of epidemiology, evolutionary biology and community ecology on a local level in a research framework. This multidisciplinary approach aims at understanding the pathogen transmission processes at the interface between different bird groups whether wild or domesticated. We believe that this ecological data brought together with the epidemiological and molecular data is a key element to explore the mechanism of the AIV ecology in their hosts.

  8. Evidence of Adaptive Evolutionary Divergence during Biological Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Lucek, Kay; Sivasundar, Arjun; Seehausen, Ole

    2012-01-01

    Rapid phenotypic diversification during biological invasions can either arise by adaptation to alternative environments or by adaptive phenotypic plasticity. Where experimental evidence for adaptive plasticity is common, support for evolutionary diversification is rare. Here, we performed a controlled laboratory experiment using full-sib crosses between ecologically divergent threespine stickleback populations to test for a genetic basis of adaptation. Our populations are from two very different habitats, lake and stream, of a recently invaded range in Switzerland and differ in ecologically relevant morphological traits. We found that in a lake-like food treatment lake fish grow faster than stream fish, resembling the difference among wild type individuals. In contrast, in a stream-like food treatment individuals from both populations grow similarly. Our experimental data suggest that genetically determined diversification has occurred within less than 140 years after the arrival of stickleback in our studied region. PMID:23152900

  9. Entrepreneurs and Evolutionary Biology: The Relationship between Testosterone and New Venture Creation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Roderick E.; Thornhill, Stewart; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2006-01-01

    Biological evolutionary processes select for heritable behaviors providing a survival and reproductive advantage. Accordingly, how we behave is, at least in part, affected by the evolutionary history of our species. This research uses evolutionary psychology as the theoretical perspective for exploring the relationship between a heritable…

  10. Entrepreneurs and Evolutionary Biology: The Relationship between Testosterone and New Venture Creation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Roderick E.; Thornhill, Stewart; Hampson, Elizabeth

    2006-01-01

    Biological evolutionary processes select for heritable behaviors providing a survival and reproductive advantage. Accordingly, how we behave is, at least in part, affected by the evolutionary history of our species. This research uses evolutionary psychology as the theoretical perspective for exploring the relationship between a heritable…

  11. Limbs in whales and limblessness in other vertebrates: mechanisms of evolutionary and developmental transformation and loss.

    PubMed

    Bejder, Lars; Hall, Brian K

    2002-01-01

    We address the developmental and evolutionary mechanisms underlying fore- and hindlimb development and progressive hindlimb reduction and skeletal loss in whales and evaluate whether the genetic, developmental, and evolutionary mechanisms thought to be responsible for limb loss in snakes "explain" loss of the hindlimbs in whales. Limb loss and concurrent morphological and physiological changes associated with the transition from land to water are discussed within the context of the current whale phylogeny. Emphasis is placed on fore- and hindlimb development, how the forelimbs transformed into flippers, and how the hindlimbs regressed, leaving either no elements or vestigial skeletal elements. Hindlimbs likely began to regress only after the ancestors of whales entered the aquatic environment: Hindlimb function was co-opted by the undulatory vertical axial locomotion made possible by the newly evolved caudal flukes. Loss of the hindlimbs was associated with elongation of the body during the transition from land to water. Limblessness in most snakes is also associated with adoption of a new (burrowing) lifestyle and was driven by developmental changes associated with elongation of the body. Parallels between adaptation to burrowing or to the aquatic environment reflect structural and functional changes associated with the switch to axial locomotion. Because they are more fully studied and to determine whether hindlimb loss in lineages that are not closely related could result from similar genetically controlled developmental pathways, we discuss developmental (cellular and genetic) processes that may have driven limb loss in snakes and leg-less lizards and compare these processes to the loss of hindlimbs in whales. In neither group does ontogenetic or phylogenetic limb reduction result from failure to initiate limb development. In both groups limb loss results from arrested development at the limb bud stage, as a result of inability to maintain necessary inductive

  12. Evolutionary and Developmental Origins of the Cardiac Neural Crest: Building a Divided Outflow Tract

    PubMed Central

    Keyte, Anna L.; Alonzo-Johnsen, Martha; Hutson, Mary R.

    2015-01-01

    The cardiac neural crest cells (CNCCs) have played an important role in the evolution and development of the vertebrate cardiovascular system: from reinforcement of the developing aortic arch arteries early in vertebrate evolution, to later orchestration of aortic arch artery remodeling into the great arteries of the heart, and finally outflow tract septation in amniotes. A critical element necessary for the evolutionary advent of outflow tract septation was the co-evolution of the cardiac neural crest cells with the second heart field. This review highlights the major transitions in vertebrate circulatory evolution, explores the evolutionary developmental origins of the CNCCs from the third stream cranial neural crest, and explores candidate signaling pathways in CNCC and outflow tract evolution drawn from our knowledge of DiGeorge Syndrome. PMID:25227322

  13. Evolutionary and developmental origins of the cardiac neural crest: building a divided outflow tract.

    PubMed

    Keyte, Anna L; Alonzo-Johnsen, Martha; Hutson, Mary R

    2014-09-01

    The cardiac neural crest cells (CNCCs) have played an important role in the evolution and development of the vertebrate cardiovascular system: from reinforcement of the developing aortic arch arteries early in vertebrate evolution, to later orchestration of aortic arch artery remodeling into the great arteries of the heart, and finally outflow tract septation in amniotes. A critical element necessary for the evolutionary advent of outflow tract septation was the co-evolution of the cardiac neural crest cells with the second heart field. This review highlights the major transitions in vertebrate circulatory evolution, explores the evolutionary developmental origins of the CNCCs from the third stream cranial neural crest, and explores candidate signaling pathways in CNCC and outflow tract evolution drawn from our knowledge of DiGeorge Syndrome. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Developmental biology of Cystoisospora (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) monozoic tissue cysts.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, David S; Houk, Alice E; Mitchell, Sheila M; Dubey, J P

    2014-08-01

    Tissue cyst stages are an intriguing aspect of the developmental cycle and transmission of species of Sarcocystidae. Tissue-cyst stages of Toxoplasma, Hammondia, Neospora, Besnoitia, and Sarcocystis contain many infectious stages (bradyzoites). The tissue cyst stage of Cystoisospora (syn. Isospora) possesses only 1 infectious stage (zoite), and is therefore referred to as a monozoic tissue cyst (MZTC). No tissue cyst stages are presently known for members of Nephroisospora. The present report examines the developmental biology of MZTC stages of Cystoisospora Frenkel, 1977 . These parasites cause intestinal coccidiosis in cats, dogs, pigs, and humans. The MZTC stages of C. belli are believed to be associated with reoccurrence of clinical disease in humans.

  15. Creating to understand - developmental biology meets engineering in Paris.

    PubMed

    Kicheva, Anna; Rivron, Nicolas C

    2017-03-01

    In November 2016, developmental biologists, synthetic biologists and engineers gathered in Paris for a meeting called 'Engineering the embryo'. The participants shared an interest in exploring how synthetic systems can reveal new principles of embryonic development, and how the in vitro manipulation and modeling of development using stem cells can be used to integrate ideas and expertise from physics, developmental biology and tissue engineering. As we review here, the conference pinpointed some of the challenges arising at the intersection of these fields, along with great enthusiasm for finding new approaches and collaborations. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  16. Importing the homology concept from biology into developmental psychology.

    PubMed

    Moore, David S

    2013-01-01

    To help introduce the idea of homology into developmental psychology, this article presents some of the concepts, distinctions, and guidelines biologists and philosophers of biology have devised to study homology. Some unresolved issues related to this idea are considered as well. Because homology reflects continuity across time, developmental scientists should find this concept to be useful in the study of psychological/behavioral development, just as biologists have found it essential in the study of the evolution and development of morphological and other characteristics.

  17. Developmental and Evolutionary Lexicon Acquisition in Cognitive Agents/Robots with Grounding Principle: A Short Review

    PubMed Central

    Rasheed, Nadia; Amin, Shamsudin H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Grounded language acquisition is an important issue, particularly to facilitate human-robot interactions in an intelligent and effective way. The evolutionary and developmental language acquisition are two innovative and important methodologies for the grounding of language in cognitive agents or robots, the aim of which is to address current limitations in robot design. This paper concentrates on these two main modelling methods with the grounding principle for the acquisition of linguistic ability in cognitive agents or robots. This review not only presents a survey of the methodologies and relevant computational cognitive agents or robotic models, but also highlights the advantages and progress of these approaches for the language grounding issue. PMID:27069470

  18. Using Nonlinear Stochastic Evolutionary Game Strategy to Model an Evolutionary Biological Network of Organ Carcinogenesis Under a Natural Selection Scheme

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Tsai, Kun-Wei; Li, Cheng-Wei

    2015-01-01

    Molecular biologists have long recognized carcinogenesis as an evolutionary process that involves natural selection. Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages. In this study, the evolution of somatic cancer cell lineages during carcinogenesis was modeled as an equilibrium point (ie, phenotype of attractor) shifting, the process of a nonlinear stochastic evolutionary biological network. This process is subject to intrinsic random fluctuations because of somatic genetic and epigenetic variations, as well as extrinsic disturbances because of carcinogens and stressors. In order to maintain the normal function (ie, phenotype) of an evolutionary biological network subjected to random intrinsic fluctuations and extrinsic disturbances, a network robustness scheme that incorporates natural selection needs to be developed. This can be accomplished by selecting certain genetic and epigenetic variations to modify the network structure to attenuate intrinsic fluctuations efficiently and to resist extrinsic disturbances in order to maintain the phenotype of the evolutionary biological network at an equilibrium point (attractor). However, during carcinogenesis, the remaining (or neutral) genetic and epigenetic variations accumulate, and the extrinsic disturbances become too large to maintain the normal phenotype at the desired equilibrium point for the nonlinear evolutionary biological network. Thus, the network is shifted to a cancer phenotype at a new equilibrium point that begins a new evolutionary process. In this study, the natural selection scheme of an evolutionary biological network of carcinogenesis was derived from a robust negative feedback scheme based on the nonlinear stochastic Nash game strategy. The evolvability and phenotypic robustness criteria of the evolutionary cancer network were also estimated by solving a Hamilton–Jacobi inequality – constrained optimization problem. The simulation revealed that the phenotypic shift of the lung cancer

  19. PAX genes in childhood oncogenesis: developmental biology gone awry?

    PubMed

    Mahajan, P; Leavey, P J; Galindo, R L

    2015-05-21

    Childhood solid tumors often arise from embryonal-like cells, which are distinct from the epithelial cancers observed in adults, and etiologically can be considered as 'developmental patterning gone awry'. Paired-box (PAX) genes encode a family of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors that are important regulators of cell lineage specification, migration and tissue patterning. PAX loss-of-function mutations are well known to cause potent developmental phenotypes in animal models and underlie genetic disease in humans, whereas dysregulation and/or genetic modification of PAX genes have been shown to function as critical triggers for human tumorigenesis. Consequently, exploring PAX-related pathobiology generates insights into both normal developmental biology and key molecular mechanisms that underlie pediatric cancer, which are the topics of this review.

  20. Integrating GIS-based environmental data into evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Graham, Catherine H; Wiens, John J

    2008-03-01

    Many evolutionary processes are influenced by environmental variation over space and time, including genetic divergence among populations, speciation and evolutionary change in morphology, physiology and behaviour. Yet, evolutionary biologists have generally not taken advantage of the extensive environmental data available from geographic information systems (GIS). For example, studies of phylogeography, speciation and character evolution often ignore or use only crude proxies for environmental variation (e.g. latitude and distance between populations). Here, we describe how the integration of GIS-based environmental data, along with new spatial tools, can transform evolutionary studies and reveal new insights into the ecological causes of evolutionary patterns.

  1. Evolutionary and Political Economic Influences on Biological Diversity in African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

    Examines existing data on biological diversity among Americans of African descent within the contexts of their evolutionary backgrounds and political and economic realities. Explores the origins of the diversity, and provides an evolutionary and political economy synthesis for evaluating the biological distinctions apparent among African…

  2. Evolutionary and Political Economic Influences on Biological Diversity in African Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier

    1993-01-01

    Examines existing data on biological diversity among Americans of African descent within the contexts of their evolutionary backgrounds and political and economic realities. Explores the origins of the diversity, and provides an evolutionary and political economy synthesis for evaluating the biological distinctions apparent among African…

  3. Phylogenetic placement, developmental trajectories and evolutionary implications of a feathered dinosaur tail in Mid-Cretaceous amber.

    PubMed

    Lambertz, Markus

    2017-03-20

    In a recent report in Current Biology, Xing and colleagues [1] present a small fragment of a vertebrate tail preserved in amber that bears integumentary appendages (DIP-V-15103, Dexu Institute of Paleontology, Chaozhou, China; Figure 1). Following several analyses using cutting-edge technology the authors conclude that: the tail belongs to a non-avian theropod dinosaur (non-avialan according to the authors, but non-avian used synonymously here); the dinosaur most likely was a member of the Coelurosauria, possibly even Maniraptora; and, the integumentary appendages are feathers that support a barbule-first evolutionary pattern for feathers. DIP-V-15103 is indeed an intriguing specimen with potential implications for contributing to understanding the evolution of feathers among dinosaurs, which remains a current and undoubtedly controversial topic [2,3]. However, I would like to raise several concerns about the available evidence for the phylogenetic hypothesis concerning the placement of DIP-V-15103 as concluded by Xing and colleagues [1], and furthermore discuss the developmental trajectories predicted by them in light of their far-reaching evolutionary implications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Transcriptomic signatures shaped by cell proportions shed light on comparative developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Pantalacci, Sophie; Guéguen, Laurent; Petit, Coraline; Lambert, Anne; Peterkovà, Renata; Sémon, Marie

    2017-02-15

    Comparative transcriptomics can answer many questions in developmental and evolutionary developmental biology. Most transcriptomic studies start by showing global patterns of variation in transcriptomes that differ between species or organs through developmental time. However, little is known about the kinds of expression differences that shape these patterns. We compared transcriptomes during the development of two morphologically distinct serial organs, the upper and lower first molars of the mouse. We found that these two types of teeth largely share the same gene expression dynamics but that three major transcriptomic signatures distinguish them, all of which are shaped by differences in the relative abundance of different cell types. First, lower/upper molar differences are maintained throughout morphogenesis and stem from differences in the relative abundance of mesenchyme and from constant differences in gene expression within tissues. Second, there are clear time-shift differences in the transcriptomes of the two molars related to cusp tissue abundance. Third, the transcriptomes differ most during early-mid crown morphogenesis, corresponding to exaggerated morphogenetic processes in the upper molar involving fewer mitotic cells but more migrating cells. From these findings, we formulate hypotheses about the mechanisms enabling the two molars to reach different phenotypes. We also successfully applied our approach to forelimb and hindlimb development. Gene expression in a complex tissue reflects not only transcriptional regulation but also abundance of different cell types. This knowledge provides valuable insights into the cellular processes underpinning differences in organ development. Our approach should be applicable to most comparative developmental contexts.

  5. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    PubMed

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

  6. A soul of truth in things erroneous: Popper's "amateurish" evolutionary philosophy in light of contemporary biology.

    PubMed

    Vecchi, Davide; Baravalle, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    This paper will critically assess Popper's evolutionary philosophy. There exists a rich literature on the topic with which we have many reservations. We believe that Popper's evolutionary philosophy should be assessed in light of the intriguing theoretical insights offered, during the last 10 years or so, by the philosophy of biology, evolutionary biology and molecular biology. We will argue that, when analysed in this manner, Popper's ideas concerning the nature of selection, Lamarckism and the theoretical limits of neo-Darwinism can be appreciated in their full biological and philosophical value.

  7. New insights into the evolutionary history of biological nitrogen fixation

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, Eric S.; Peters, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrogenase, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent reduction of dinitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3), accounts for roughly half of the bioavailable nitrogen supporting extant life. The fundamental requirement for fixed forms of nitrogen for life on Earth, both at present and in the past, has led to broad and significant interest in the origin and evolution of biological N2 fixation. One key question is whether the limited availability of fixed nitrogen was a factor in life's origin or whether there were ample sources of fixed nitrogen produced by abiotic processes or delivered through the weathering of bolide impact materials to support this early life. If the latter, the key questions become what were the characteristics of the environment that precipitated the evolution of this oxygen sensitive process, when did this occur, and how was its subsequent evolutionary history impacted by the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis and the rise of oxygen in the Earth's biosphere. Since the availability of fixed sources of nitrogen capable of supporting early life is difficult to glean from the geologic record, there are limited means to get direct insights into these questions. Indirect insights, however, can be gained through phylogenetic studies of nitrogenase structural gene products and additional gene products involved in the biosynthesis of the complex metal-containing prosthetic groups associated with this enzyme complex. Insights gained from such studies, as reviewed herein, challenge traditional models for the evolution of biological nitrogen fixation and provide the basis for the development of new conceptual models that explain the stepwise evolution of this highly complex life sustaining process. PMID:23935594

  8. Evolutionary biology and genetic techniques for insect control.

    PubMed

    Leftwich, Philip T; Bolton, Michael; Chapman, Tracey

    2016-01-01

    The requirement to develop new techniques for insect control that minimize negative environmental impacts has never been more pressing. Here we discuss population suppression and population replacement technologies. These include sterile insect technique, genetic elimination methods such as the release of insects carrying a dominant lethal (RIDL), and gene driving mechanisms offered by intracellular bacteria and homing endonucleases. We also review the potential of newer or underutilized methods such as reproductive interference, CRISPR technology, RNA interference (RNAi), and genetic underdominance. We focus on understanding principles and potential effectiveness from the perspective of evolutionary biology. This offers useful insights into mechanisms through which potential problems may be minimized, in much the same way that an understanding of how resistance evolves is key to slowing the spread of antibiotic and insecticide resistance. We conclude that there is much to gain from applying principles from the study of resistance in these other scenarios - specifically, the adoption of combinatorial approaches to minimize the spread of resistance evolution. We conclude by discussing the focused use of GM for insect pest control in the context of modern conservation planning under land-sparing scenarios.

  9. Investigating Climate Change and Reproduction: Experimental Tools from Evolutionary Biology

    PubMed Central

    Grazer, Vera M.; Martin, Oliver Y.

    2012-01-01

    It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments. PMID:24832232

  10. The evolutionary biology and population genetics underlying fungal strain typing.

    PubMed

    Taylor, J W; Geiser, D M; Burt, A; Koufopanou, V

    1999-01-01

    Strain typing of medically important fungi and fungal population genetics have been stimulated by new methods of tapping DNA variation. The aim of this contribution is to show how awareness of fungal population genetics can increase the utility of strain typing to better serve the interests of medical mycology. Knowing two basic features of fungal population biology, the mode of reproduction and genetic differentiation or isolation, can give medical mycologists information about the intraspecific groups that are worth identifying and the number and type of markers that would be needed to do so. The same evolutionary information can be just as valuable for the selection of fungi for development and testing of pharmaceuticals or vaccines. The many methods of analyzing DNA variation are evaluated in light of the need for polymorphic loci that are well characterized, simple, independent, and stable. Traditional population genetic and new phylogenetic methods for analyzing mode of reproduction, genetic differentiation, and isolation are reviewed. Strain typing and population genetic reports are examined for six medically important species: Coccidioides immitis, Histoplasma capsulatum, Candida albicans, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and A. flavus. Research opportunities in the areas of genomics, correlation of clinical variation with genetic variation, amount of recombination, and standardization of approach are suggested.

  11. Evolutionary mechanisms of rib loss in anurans: a comparative developmental approach.

    PubMed

    Blanco, M J; Sanchiz, B

    2000-04-01

    ABSTRACT The presence of free ribs is presumed to be a primitive morphological character observed only in a few families of Recent anurans, whereas the absence of ribs has been considered to be a derived condition that is widespread within this order. A comparative study of rib development based on representatives of several anuran lineages (Alytes, Bombina, Bufo, Discoglossus, Hyla, Pelobates, Pelodytes, Rana, and Xenopus) reveals a previously undetected diversity of developmental features in the formation and interaction between neural arches and ribs. The absence of free ribs at premetamorphic or later stages is verified in some groups, but we present for the first time evidence of the existence of larval rib rudiments in others, both in the anterior (Rana, Hyla) and posterior (Bufo, Discoglossus, Pelobates) presacral regions. Heterochrony seems to have played a major role in the processes underlying rib reduction. The intracolumnar differences between anterior (V(2)-V(4)) and posterior (V(5)-V(8)) regions are based on perturbations in the timing of early differentiation. Furthermore, a clear shift in the relative timing of ossification among evolutionary lineages was detected. In this respect Xenopus has a highly derived condition. The use of the morphological character of "rib loss" in phylogenetic analyses must be reconsidered due to the different convergent developmental paths described here. The phylogenetic analysis of a "sequence units" matrix of rib development is compared with current anuran phylogenies. Some evolutionary information appears to be clearly present in the ontogenetic data of this "missing morphology," but its value for evolutionary inferences is rather limited.

  12. Social defense: an evolutionary-developmental model of children's strategies for coping with threat in the peer group.

    PubMed

    Martin, Meredith J; Davies, Patrick T; MacNeill, Leigha A

    2014-04-29

    Navigating the ubiquitous conflict, competition, and complex group dynamics of the peer group is a pivotal developmental task of childhood. Difficulty negotiating these challenges represents a substantial source of risk for psychopathology. Evolutionary developmental psychology offers a unique perspective with the potential to reorganize the way we think about the role of peer relationships in shaping how children cope with the everyday challenges of establishing a social niche. To address this gap, we utilize the ethological reformulation of the emotional security theory as a guide to developing an evolutionary framework for advancing an understanding of the defense strategies children use to manage antagonistic peer relationships and protect themselves from interpersonal threat (Davies and Sturge-Apple, 2007). In this way, we hope to illustrate the value of an evolutionary developmental lens in generating unique theoretical insight and novel research directions into the role of peer relationships in the development of psychopathology.

  13. Use of genome-scale metabolic models in evolutionary systems biology.

    PubMed

    Papp, Balázs; Szappanos, Balázs; Notebaart, Richard A

    2011-01-01

    One of the major aims of the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology is to test evolutionary hypotheses that are not only realistic from a population genetic point of view but also detailed in terms of molecular biology mechanisms. By providing a mapping between genotype and phenotype for hundreds of genes, genome-scale systems biology models of metabolic networks have already provided valuable insights into the evolution of metabolic gene contents and phenotypes of yeast and other microbial species. Here we review the recent use of these computational models to predict the fitness effect of mutations, genetic interactions, evolutionary outcomes, and to decipher the mechanisms of mutational robustness. While these studies have demonstrated that even simplified models of biochemical reaction networks can be highly informative for evolutionary analyses, they have also revealed the weakness of this modeling framework to quantitatively predict mutational effects, a challenge that needs to be addressed for future progress in evolutionary systems biology.

  14. Bioinformatics approaches to single-cell analysis in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Yalcin, Dicle; Hakguder, Zeynep M; Otu, Hasan H

    2016-03-01

    Individual cells within the same population show various degrees of heterogeneity, which may be better handled with single-cell analysis to address biological and clinical questions. Single-cell analysis is especially important in developmental biology as subtle spatial and temporal differences in cells have significant associations with cell fate decisions during differentiation and with the description of a particular state of a cell exhibiting an aberrant phenotype. Biotechnological advances, especially in the area of microfluidics, have led to a robust, massively parallel and multi-dimensional capturing, sorting, and lysis of single-cells and amplification of related macromolecules, which have enabled the use of imaging and omics techniques on single cells. There have been improvements in computational single-cell image analysis in developmental biology regarding feature extraction, segmentation, image enhancement and machine learning, handling limitations of optical resolution to gain new perspectives from the raw microscopy images. Omics approaches, such as transcriptomics, genomics and epigenomics, targeting gene and small RNA expression, single nucleotide and structural variations and methylation and histone modifications, rely heavily on high-throughput sequencing technologies. Although there are well-established bioinformatics methods for analysis of sequence data, there are limited bioinformatics approaches which address experimental design, sample size considerations, amplification bias, normalization, differential expression, coverage, clustering and classification issues, specifically applied at the single-cell level. In this review, we summarize biological and technological advancements, discuss challenges faced in the aforementioned data acquisition and analysis issues and present future prospects for application of single-cell analyses to developmental biology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European

  15. Evolutionary developmental transcriptomics reveals a gene network module regulating interspecific diversity in plant leaf shape.

    PubMed

    Ichihashi, Yasunori; Aguilar-Martínez, José Antonio; Farhi, Moran; Chitwood, Daniel H; Kumar, Ravi; Millon, Lee V; Peng, Jie; Maloof, Julin N; Sinha, Neelima R

    2014-06-24

    Despite a long-standing interest in the genetic basis of morphological diversity, the molecular mechanisms that give rise to developmental variation are incompletely understood. Here, we use comparative transcriptomics coupled with the construction of gene coexpression networks to predict a gene regulatory network (GRN) for leaf development in tomato and two related wild species with strikingly different leaf morphologies. The core network in the leaf developmental GRN contains regulators of leaf morphology that function in global cell proliferation with peripheral gene network modules (GNMs). The BLADE-ON-PETIOLE (BOP) transcription factor in one GNM controls the core network by altering effective concentration of the KNOTTED-like HOMEOBOX gene product. Comparative network analysis and experimental perturbations of BOP levels suggest that variation in BOP expression could explain the diversity in leaf complexity among these species through dynamic rewiring of interactions in the GRN. The peripheral location of the BOP-containing GNM in the leaf developmental GRN and the phenotypic mimics of evolutionary diversity caused by alteration in BOP levels identify a key role for this GNM in canalizing the leaf morphospace by modifying the maturation schedule of leaves to create morphological diversity.

  16. Useful insights from evolutionary biology for developing perennial grain crops.

    PubMed

    DeHaan, Lee R; Van Tassel, David L

    2014-10-01

    Annual grain crops dominate agricultural landscapes and provide the majority of calories consumed by humanity. Perennial grain crops could potentially ameliorate the land degradation and off-site impacts associated with annual grain cropping. However, herbaceous perennial plants with constitutively high allocation to harvestable seeds are rare to absent in nature. Recent trade-off theory models suggest that rugged fitness landscapes may explain the absence of this form better than sink competition models. Artificial selection for both grain production and multiyear lifespan can lead to more rapid progress in the face of fitness and genetic trade-offs than natural selection but is likely to result in plant types that differ substantially from all current domestic crops. Perennial grain domestication is also likely to require the development of selection strategies that differ from published crop breeding methods, despite their success in improving long-domesticated crops; for this purpose, we have reviewed literature in the areas of population and evolutionary genetics, domestication, and molecular biology. Rapid domestication will likely require genes with large effect that are expected to exhibit strong pleiotropy and epistasis. Cryptic genetic variation will need to be deliberately exposed both to purge mildly deleterious alleles and to generate novel agronomic phenotypes. We predict that perennial grain domestication programs will benefit from population subdivision followed by selection for simple traits in each subpopulation, the evaluation of very large populations, high selection intensity, rapid cycling through generations, and heterosis. The latter may be particularly beneficial in the development of varieties with stable yield and tolerance to crowding. © 2014 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  17. Developmental biology teaching - the importance of a practical approach.

    PubMed

    Mulley, John F

    2015-01-01

    The huge growth in knowledge in many areas of biological sciences over the past few decades has created a major dilemma for those of us in higher education, for not only must we adequately and efficiently convey these new facts and concepts to our students, we must also ensure that they understand and appreciate them. The field of developmental biology has witnessed such a massive growth in knowledge since the mid-1980s, driven mainly by advances in cell and molecular biology, and the development of new imaging techniques and tools. Ensuring that students fully appreciate the four-dimensional nature of embryonic development and morphogenesis is a particular issue, and one that I argue can only be properly learned via direct exposure to embryos via laboratory practicals.

  18. Quantitative study of developmental biology confirms Dickinsonia as a metazoan.

    PubMed

    Hoekzema, Renee S; Brasier, Martin D; Dunn, Frances S; Liu, Alexander G

    2017-09-13

    The late Ediacaran soft-bodied macroorganism Dickinsonia (age range approx. 560-550 Ma) has often been interpreted as an early animal, and is increasingly invoked in debate on the evolutionary assembly of eumetazoan body plans. However, conclusive positive evidence in support of such a phylogenetic affinity has not been forthcoming. Here we subject a collection of Dickinsonia specimens interpreted to represent multiple ontogenetic stages to a novel, quantitative method for studying growth and development in organisms with an iterative body plan. Our study demonstrates that Dickinsonia grew via pre-terminal 'deltoidal' insertion and inflation of constructional units, followed by a later inflation-dominated phase of growth. This growth model is contrary to the widely held assumption that Dickinsonia grew via terminal addition of units at the end of the organism bearing the smallest units. When considered alongside morphological and behavioural attributes, our developmental data phylogenetically constrain Dickinsonia to the Metazoa, specifically the Eumetazoa plus Placozoa total group. Our findings have implications for the use of Dickinsonia in developmental debates surrounding the metazoan acquisition of axis specification and metamerism. © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. Human pluripotent stem cells: an emerging model in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Zengrong; Huangfu, Danwei

    2013-02-01

    Developmental biology has long benefited from studies of classic model organisms. Recently, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, have emerged as a new model system that offers unique advantages for developmental studies. Here, we discuss how studies of hPSCs can complement classic approaches using model organisms, and how hPSCs can be used to recapitulate aspects of human embryonic development 'in a dish'. We also summarize some of the recently developed genetic tools that greatly facilitate the interrogation of gene function during hPSC differentiation. With the development of high-throughput screening technologies, hPSCs have the potential to revolutionize gene discovery in mammalian development.

  20. Bridging structure and process in developmental biology through new imaging technologies.

    PubMed

    Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer

    2011-07-19

    Many unexpected discoveries in developmental biology have depended on advancement of imaging technologies to visualize developmental processes as they unfold across multiple spatial and temporal scales. This essay surveys the recent advances in imaging, highlighting emerging capabilities with an eye toward those poised to have the greatest impact on developmental biology.

  1. Proposal for Teaching Evolutionary Biology: A Bridge between Research and Educational Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez Pérez, Eréndira; Ruiz Gutiérrez, Rosaura

    2016-01-01

    We present quantitative results for the doctoral thesis of the first-named author of this article. The objective was to recommend and test a teaching proposal for core knowledge of evolutionary biology in secondary education. The focus of the study is "Problem cores in teaching". The "Weaving evolutionary thinking" teaching…

  2. Proposal for Teaching Evolutionary Biology: A Bridge between Research and Educational Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alvarez Pérez, Eréndira; Ruiz Gutiérrez, Rosaura

    2016-01-01

    We present quantitative results for the doctoral thesis of the first-named author of this article. The objective was to recommend and test a teaching proposal for core knowledge of evolutionary biology in secondary education. The focus of the study is "Problem cores in teaching". The "Weaving evolutionary thinking" teaching…

  3. Expansion of biological pathways based on evolutionary inference.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang; Calvo, Sarah E; Gutman, Roee; Liu, Jun S; Mootha, Vamsi K

    2014-07-03

    The availability of diverse genomes makes it possible to predict gene function based on shared evolutionary history. This approach can be challenging, however, for pathways whose components do not exhibit a shared history but rather consist of distinct "evolutionary modules." We introduce a computational algorithm, clustering by inferred models of evolution (CLIME), which inputs a eukaryotic species tree, homology matrix, and pathway (gene set) of interest. CLIME partitions the gene set into disjoint evolutionary modules, simultaneously learning the number of modules and a tree-based evolutionary history that defines each module. CLIME then expands each module by scanning the genome for new components that likely arose under the inferred evolutionary model. Application of CLIME to ∼1,000 annotated human pathways and to the proteomes of yeast, red algae, and malaria reveals unanticipated evolutionary modularity and coevolving components. CLIME is freely available and should become increasingly powerful with the growing wealth of eukaryotic genomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Comparative developmental biology of the uterus: insights into mechanisms and developmental disruption.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Thomas E; Dunlap, Kathrin A; Filant, Justyna

    2012-05-06

    The uterus is an essential organ for reproduction in mammals that derives from the Müllerian duct. Despite the importance of the uterus for the fertility and health of women and their offspring, relatively little is known about the hormonal, cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate development of the Müllerian duct and uterus. This review aims to summarize the hormonal, cellular and molecular mechanisms and pathways governing development of the Müllerian duct and uterus as well as highlight developmental programming effects of endocrine disruptor compounds. Organogenesis, morphogenesis, and functional differentiation of the uterus are complex, multifactorial processes. Disruption of uterine development in the fetus and neonate by genetic defects and exposure to endocrine disruptor compounds can cause infertility and cancer in the adult and their offspring via developmental programming. Clear conservation of some factors and pathways are observed between species; therefore, comparative biology is useful to identify candidate genes and pathways underlying congenital abnormalities in humans.

  5. Rebuilding a broken heart: lessons from developmental and regenerative biology.

    PubMed

    Kuyumcu-Martinez, Muge N; Bressan, Michael C

    2016-11-01

    In May 2016, the annual Weinstein Cardiovascular Development and Regeneration Conference was held in Durham, North Carolina, USA. The meeting assembled leading investigators, junior scientists and trainees from around the world to discuss developmental and regenerative biological approaches to understanding the etiology of congenital heart defects and the repair of diseased cardiac tissue. In this Meeting Review, we present several of the major themes that were discussed throughout the meeting and highlight the depth and range of research currently being performed to uncover the causes of human cardiac diseases and develop potential therapies. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  6. Inherit the policy: A sociocultural approach to understanding evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Gregory D.

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural and historical influences at all levels of the policy process. Lipsky (1980/2010) and others have identified teachers as de facto policy makers, exercising broad discretion in the execution of their work. This study looks to Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behavior as an initial framework to inform how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at different levels of the policy process. The results of this study indicate that actors in the state's evolutionary biology policy process draw upon a myriad of Discourses (Gee, 1999/2005). These Discourses shape cultural dynamics and the agency of the policy actors as they navigate conflicting messages between testing mandates and evolutionary biology policy. There indeed exist gaps between how evolutionary biology policy in South Carolina is conceptualized and understood at the different levels of the policy process. Evidence from this study suggests that appropriation-level policy actors must be brought into the Discourse related to the critical analysis of evolutionary biology and academic freedom legislation must be enacted if South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 is to realize practical significance in educational policy.

  7. Evolutionary and developmental implications of asymmetric brain folding in a large primate pedigree

    PubMed Central

    Atkinson, Elizabeth G.; Rogers, Jeffrey; Cheverud, James M.

    2016-01-01

    Bilateral symmetry is a fundamental property of the vertebrate central nervous system. Local deviations from symmetry provide various types of information about the development, evolution and function of elements within the CNS, especially the cerebral hemispheres. Here, we quantify the pattern and extent of asymmetry in cortical folding within the cerebrum of Papio baboons and assess the evolutionary and developmental implications of the findings. Analyses of directional asymmetry show a population-level trend in length measurements indicating that baboons are genetically predisposed to be asymmetrical, with the right side longer than the left in the anterior cerebrum while the left side is longer than the right posteriorly. We also find a corresponding bias to display a right frontal petalia (overgrowth of the anterior pole of the cerebral cortex on the right side). By quantifying fluctuating asymmetry, we assess canalization of brain features and the susceptibility of the baboon brain to developmental perturbations. We find that features are differentially canalized depending on their ontogenetic timing. We further deduce that development of the two hemispheres is to some degree independent. This independence has important implications for the evolution of cerebral hemispheres and their separate specialization. Asymmetry is a major feature of primate brains and is characteristic of both brain structure and function. PMID:26813679

  8. Morphological integration in the hominin dentition: evolutionary, developmental, and functional factors.

    PubMed

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Polly, P David

    2012-04-01

    As the most common and best preserved remains in the fossil record, teeth are central to our understanding of evolution. However, many evolutionary analyses based on dental traits overlook the constraints that limit dental evolution. These constraints are diverse, ranging from developmental interactions between the individual elements of a homologous series (the whole dentition) to functional constraints related to occlusion. This study evaluates morphological integration in the hominin dentition and its effect on dental evolution in an extensive sample of Plio- and Pleistocene hominin teeth using geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods. Results reveal that premolars and molars display significant levels of covariation; that integration is stronger in the mandibular dentition than in the maxillary dentition; and that antagonist teeth, especially first molars, are strongly integrated. Results also show an association of morphological integration and evolution. Stasis is observed in elements with strong functional and/or developmental interactions, namely in first molars. Alternatively, directional evolution (and weaker integration) occurs in the elements with marginal roles in occlusion and mastication, probably in response to other direct or indirect selective pressures. This study points to the need to reevaluate hypotheses about hominin evolution based on dental characters, given the complex scenario in which teeth evolve.

  9. The intersubjective and cooperative origins of consciousness: an evolutionary-developmental approach.

    PubMed

    Cortina, Mauricio; Liotti, Giovanni

    2010-01-01

    We discuss consciousness from evolutionary and developmental perspectives. The expansion of communicative abilities was a necessary step for the emergence of a new type of cooperation based on equality that probably appeared for the first time among nomadic hunter gatherers during the upper Paleolithic era. In turn, this new level of cooperation gave raise to an expanded form of consciousness. From a developmental perspective an expansion of intersubjective abilities and consciousness go together. Three basic levels of intersubjectivity are present in humans. A primary form of intersubjective communication is accompanied by a primary form of consciousness that is not easily accessible for conscious scrutiny. During the second year of human life secondary forms of intersubjectivity expand consciousness from the immediacy of one-to-one interactions, to include a shared understanding of intentions and goals with caregivers. Secondary forms of intersubjectivity give raise to the type of consciousness characterized by preverbal symbols and images--a primordial form of conceptual knowledge. A further step in intersubjective communication uses the meanings and concepts that have emerged earlier in development and transforms them into words. The leap into language allows our species to conceive past, present, and future simultaneously. The cultural transmission of knowledge and social mores depends on these abilities. This further expands the scope of consciousness and creates conditions for self reflection, a type of consciousness that is uniquely human.

  10. Evolutionary and developmental implications of asymmetric brain folding in a large primate pedigree.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Elizabeth G; Rogers, Jeffrey; Cheverud, James M

    2016-03-01

    Bilateral symmetry is a fundamental property of the vertebrate central nervous system. Local deviations from symmetry provide various types of information about the development, evolution, and function of elements within the CNS, especially the cerebral hemispheres. Here, we quantify the pattern and extent of asymmetry in cortical folding within the cerebrum of Papio baboons and assess the evolutionary and developmental implications of the findings. Analyses of directional asymmetry show a population-level trend in length measurements indicating that baboons are genetically predisposed to be asymmetrical, with the right side longer than the left in the anterior cerebrum while the left side is longer than the right posteriorly. We also find a corresponding bias to display a right frontal petalia (overgrowth of the anterior pole of the cerebral cortex on the right side). By quantifying fluctuating asymmetry, we assess canalization of brain features and the susceptibility of the baboon brain to developmental perturbations. We find that features are differentially canalized depending on their ontogenetic timing. We further deduce that development of the two hemispheres is to some degree independent. This independence has important implications for the evolution of cerebral hemispheres and their separate specialization. Asymmetry is a major feature of primate brains and is characteristic of both brain structure and function. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  11. Cranial biomechanics in basal urodeles: the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii) and its evolutionary and developmental implications.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zupeng; Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Skutschas, Pavel P

    2017-08-31

    Developmental changes in salamander skulls, before and after metamorphosis, affect the feeding capabilities of these animals. How changes in cranial morphology and tissue properties affect the function of the skull are key to decipher the early evolutionary history of the crown-group of salamanders. Here, 3D cranial biomechanics of the adult Salamandrella keyserlingii were analyzed under different tissue properties and ossification sequences of the cranial skeleton. This helped unravel that: (a) Mechanical properties of tissues (as bone, cartilage or connective tissue) imply a consensus between the stiffness required to perform a function versus the fixation (and displacement) required with the surrounding skeletal elements. (b) Changes on the ossification pattern, producing fontanelles as a result of bone loss or failure to ossify, represent a trend toward simplification potentially helping to distribute stress through the skull, but may also imply a major destabilization of the skull. (c) Bone loss may be originated due to biomechanical optimization and potential reduction of developmental costs. (d) Hynobiids are excellent models for biomechanical reconstruction of extinct early urodeles.

  12. The Zebrafish Models to Explore Genetic and Epigenetic Impacts on Evolutionary Developmental Origins of Aging

    PubMed Central

    Kishi, Shuji

    2014-01-01

    hand, unexpected senescence-related genes might also be involved in the early developmental process and its regulation. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes/genotypes and epigenotype that can be linked to the senescence phenotype, and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. PMID:24239812

  13. Developmental Programming of Obesity and Metabolic Dysfunction: Role of Prenatal Stress and Stress Biology

    PubMed Central

    Entringer, Sonja; Wadhwa, Pathik D.

    2014-01-01

    Epidemiological, clinical, physiological, cellular and molecular evidence suggests the origins of obesity and metabolic dysfunction can be traced back to intrauterine life and supports an important role for maternal nutrition prior to and during gestation in fetal programming. The elucidation of underlying mechanisms is an area of interest and intense investigation. We propose that in addition to maternal nutrition-related processes, it may be important to concurrently consider the potential role of intrauterine stress and stress biology. We frame our arguments in the larger context of an evolutionary-developmental perspective that supports roles for both nutrition and stress as key environmental conditions driving natural selection and developmental plasticity. We suggest that intrauterine stress exposure may interact with the nutritional milieu, and that stress biology may represent an underlying mechanism mediating the effects of diverse intrauterine perturbations, including but not limited to maternal nutritional insults (undernutrition and overnutrition), on brain and peripheral targets of programming of body composition, energy balance homeostasis and metabolic function. We discuss putative maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory candidate processes that may underlie the long-term effects of intrauterine stress. PMID:23887109

  14. Developmental “Roots” in Mature Biological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Robert F.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2009-01-01

    Young children tend to claim that moving artifacts and nonliving natural kinds are alive, but neglect to ascribe life to plants. This research tested whether adults exhibit similar confusions when verifying life status in a speeded classification task. Experiment 1 showed that undergraduates encounter greater difficulty (reduced accuracy and increased response times) in determining life status for plants, relative to animals, and for natural and moving nonliving things, relative to artifacts and non-moving things. Experiment 2 replicated these effects in university biology professors. The professors showed a significantly reduced effect size for living things, as compared with the students, but still showed greater difficulty for plants than animals, even as no differences from the students were apparent in their responses to nonliving things. These results suggest that mature biological knowledge relies on a developmental foundation that is not radically overwritten or erased with the profound conceptual changes that accompany mastery of the domain. PMID:19399979

  15. Systems biology approaches to identify developmental bases for lung diseases.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Soumyaroop; Mariani, Thomas J

    2013-04-01

    A greater understanding of the regulatory processes contributing to lung development could be helpful to identify strategies to ameliorate morbidity and mortality in premature infants and to identify individuals at risk for congenital and/or chronic lung diseases. Over the past decade, genomics technologies have enabled the production of rich gene expression databases providing information for all genes across developmental time or in diseased tissue. These data sets facilitate systems biology approaches for identifying underlying biological modules and programs contributing to the complex processes of normal development and those that may be associated with disease states. The next decade will undoubtedly see rapid and significant advances in redefining both lung development and disease at the systems level.

  16. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia and developmental biology: a crucial interrelationship.

    PubMed

    Campos-Sanchez, Elena; Toboso-Navasa, Amparo; Romero-Camarero, Isabel; Barajas-Diego, Marcos; Sanchez-García, Isidro; Cobaleda, César

    2011-10-15

    The latest scientific findings in the field of cancer research are redefining our understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, moving the emphasis toward the study of the mechanisms underlying the alteration of the normal processes of cellular differentiation. The concepts best exemplifying this new vision are those of cancer stem cells and tumoral reprogramming. The study of the biology of acute lymphoblastic leukemias (ALLs) has provided seminal experimental evidence supporting these new points of view. Furthermore, in the case of B cells, it has been shown that all the stages of their normal development show a tremendous degree of plasticity, allowing them to be reprogrammed to other cellular types, either normal or leukemic. Here we revise the most recent discoveries in the fields of B-cell developmental plasticity and B-ALL research and discuss their interrelationships and their implications for our understanding of the biology of the disease.

  17. Optical Coherence Tomography for Brain Imaging and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    Men, Jing; Huang, Yongyang; Solanki, Jitendra; Zeng, Xianxu; Alex, Aneesh; Jerwick, Jason; Zhang, Zhan; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Li, Airong; Zhou, Chao

    2016-01-01

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a promising research tool for brain imaging and developmental biology. Serving as a three-dimensional optical biopsy technique, OCT provides volumetric reconstruction of brain tissues and embryonic structures with micrometer resolution and video rate imaging speed. Functional OCT enables label-free monitoring of hemodynamic and metabolic changes in the brain in vitro and in vivo in animal models. Due to its non-invasiveness nature, OCT enables longitudinal imaging of developing specimens in vivo without potential damage from surgical operation, tissue fixation and processing, and staining with exogenous contrast agents. In this paper, various OCT applications in brain imaging and developmental biology are reviewed, with a particular focus on imaging heart development. In addition, we report findings on the effects of a circadian gene (Clock) and high-fat-diet on heart development in Drosophila melanogaster. These findings contribute to our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms connecting circadian genes and obesity to heart development and cardiac diseases. PMID:27721647

  18. [The history of development of evolutionary methods in St. Petersburg school of computer simulation in biology].

    PubMed

    Menshutkin, V V; Kazanskiĭ, A B; Levchenko, V F

    2010-01-01

    The history of rise and development of evolutionary methods in Saint Petersburg school of biological modelling is traced and analyzed. Some pioneering works in simulation of ecological and evolutionary processes, performed in St.-Petersburg school became an exemplary ones for many followers in Russia and abroad. The individual-based approach became the crucial point in the history of the school as an adequate instrument for construction of models of biological evolution. This approach is natural for simulation of the evolution of life-history parameters and adaptive processes in populations and communities. In some cases simulated evolutionary process was used for solving a reverse problem, i. e., for estimation of uncertain life-history parameters of population. Evolutionary computations is one more aspect of this approach application in great many fields. The problems and vistas of ecological and evolutionary modelling in general are discussed.

  19. Evolutionary biology: a basic science for medicine in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Perlman, Robert L

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary biology was a poorly developed discipline at the time of the Flexner Report and was not included in Flexner's recommendations for premedical or medical education. Since that time, however, the value of an evolutionary approach to medicine has become increasingly recognized. There are several ways in which an evolutionary perspective can enrich medical education and improve medical practice. Evolutionary considerations rationalize our continued susceptibility or vulnerability to disease; they call attention to the idea that the signs and symptoms of disease may be adaptations that prevent or limit the severity of disease; they help us understand the ways in which our interventions may affect the evolution of microbial pathogens and of cancer cells; and they provide a framework for thinking about population variation and risk factors for disease. Evolutionary biology should become a foundational science for the medical education of the future.

  20. In silico Evolutionary Developmental Neurobiology and the Origin of Natural Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szathmáry, Eörs; Szathmáry, Zoltán; Ittzés, Péter; Orbaán, Geroő; Zachár, István; Huszár, Ferenc; Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Számadó, Szabolcs

    It is justified to assume that part of our genetic endowment contributes to our language skills, yet it is impossible to tell at this moment exactly how genes affect the language faculty. We complement experimental biological studies by an in silico approach in that we simulate the evolution of neuronal networks under selection for language-related skills. At the heart of this project is the Evolutionary Neurogenetic Algorithm (ENGA) that is deliberately biomimetic. The design of the system was inspired by important biological phenomena such as brain ontogenesis, neuron morphologies, and indirect genetic encoding. Neuronal networks were selected and were allowed to reproduce as a function of their performance in the given task. The selected neuronal networks in all scenarios were able to solve the communication problem they had to face. The most striking feature of the model is that it works with highly indirect genetic encoding--just as brains do.

  1. In silico Evolutionary Developmental Neurobiology and the Origin of Natural Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szathmáry, Eörs; Szathmáry, Zoltán; Ittzés, Péter; Orbaán, Geroő; Zachár, István; Huszár, Ferenc; Fedor, Anna; Varga, Máté; Számadó, Szabolcs

    It is justified to assume that part of our genetic endowment contributes to our language skills, yet it is impossible to tell at this moment exactly how genes affect the language faculty. We complement experimental biological studies by an in silico approach in that we simulate the evolution of neuronal networks under selection for language-related skills. At the heart of this project is the Evolutionary Neurogenetic Algorithm (ENGA) that is deliberately biomimetic. The design of the system was inspired by important biological phenomena such as brain ontogenesis, neuron morphologies, and indirect genetic encoding. Neuronal networks were selected and were allowed to reproduce as a function of their performance in the given task. The selected neuronal networks in all scenarios were able to solve the communication problem they had to face. The most striking feature of the model is that it works with highly indirect genetic encoding--just as brains do.

  2. Stochastic noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies of a population of biological networks under natural selection.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Yeh, Chin-Hsun

    2017-09-05

    We review current static and dynamic evolutionary game strategies of biological networks and discuss the lack of random genetic variations and stochastic environmental disturbances in these models. To include these factors, a population of evolving biological networks is modeled as a nonlinear stochastic biological system with Poisson-driven genetic variations and random environmental fluctuations (stimuli). To gain insight into the evolutionary game theory of stochastic biological networks under natural selection, the phenotypic robustness and network evolvability of noncooperative and cooperative evolutionary game strategies are discussed from a stochastic Nash game perspective. The noncooperative strategy can be transformed into an equivalent multi-objective optimization problem and is shown to display significantly improved network robustness to tolerate genetic variations and buffer environmental disturbances, maintaining phenotypic traits for longer than the cooperative strategy. However, the noncooperative case requires greater effort and more compromises between partly conflicting players. Global linearization is used to simplify the problem of solving nonlinear stochastic evolutionary games. Finally, a simple stochastic evolutionary model of a metabolic pathway is simulated to illustrate the procedure of solving for two evolutionary game strategies and to confirm and compare their respective characteristics in the evolutionary process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Genome-wide mapping of transcription factor binding reveals developmental process integration and a fresh look at evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Yant, Levi

    2012-02-01

    How does evolution forge adaptive responses? Are many changes required or few? Just how complex are the transcriptional networks that control development? Diverse questions like these are being newly addressed by next-generation sequencing-based techniques. Facilitating a mechanistic understanding, these approaches reveal the direct in vivo interactions between transcription factors and their physical targets, combined with genome-scale readouts to comprehensively map adaptive gene regulatory networks (GRNs). Here I focus on pioneering work from the last 3 years that has leveraged these data to investigate diverse aspects of GRN circuitry controlling the reproductive transition in plants. These approaches have revealed surprising new functions for long-investigated key players in developmental programs and laid bare the basis for pleiotropy in many others, suggesting widespread process integration at the transcriptional level. Evolutionary questions begged by the recent deluge of GRN mapping data are being assessed anew, both by emerging work outside Arabidopsis thaliana and novel analyses within. These studies have swiftly exposed the distinctive power and adaptability of genome-wide GRN mapping and illustrate that this unique data type holds tremendous promise for plant biology.

  4. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Luke G., II; Scully, Erik P.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary processes can be studied in nature and in the laboratory, but time and financial constraints result in few opportunities for undergraduate and high school students to explore the agents of genetic change in populations. One alternative to time consuming and expensive teaching laboratories is the use of computer simulations. We…

  5. CRITTERS! A Realistic Simulation for Teaching Evolutionary Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latham, Luke G., II; Scully, Erik P.

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary processes can be studied in nature and in the laboratory, but time and financial constraints result in few opportunities for undergraduate and high school students to explore the agents of genetic change in populations. One alternative to time consuming and expensive teaching laboratories is the use of computer simulations. We…

  6. The integration of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology: Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) and the developmental basis of evolutionary change.

    PubMed

    Levit, George S; Hossfeld, Uwe; Olsson, Lennart

    2004-07-15

    The growth of evolutionary morphology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was inspired by the work of Carl Gegenbaur (1826-1903) and his protégé and friend Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919). However, neither of them succeeded in creating and applying a strictly Darwinian (selectionist) methodology. This task was left to the next generation of evolutionary morphologists. In this paper we present a relatively unknown researcher, Alexej Nikolajevich Sewertzoff (1866-1936) who made important contributions towards a synthesis of Darwinism and evolutionary morphology. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. The role of evolutionary biology in research and control of liver flukes in Southeast Asia.

    PubMed

    Echaubard, Pierre; Sripa, Banchob; Mallory, Frank F; Wilcox, Bruce A

    2016-09-01

    Stimulated largely by the availability of new technology, biomedical research at the molecular-level and chemical-based control approaches arguably dominate the field of infectious diseases. Along with this, the proximate view of disease etiology predominates to the exclusion of the ultimate, evolutionary biology-based, causation perspective. Yet, historically and up to today, research in evolutionary biology has provided much of the foundation for understanding the mechanisms underlying disease transmission dynamics, virulence, and the design of effective integrated control strategies. Here we review the state of knowledge regarding the biology of Asian liver Fluke-host relationship, parasitology, phylodynamics, drug-based interventions and liver Fluke-related cancer etiology from an evolutionary biology perspective. We consider how evolutionary principles, mechanisms and research methods could help refine our understanding of clinical disease associated with infection by Liver Flukes as well as their transmission dynamics. We identify a series of questions for an evolutionary biology research agenda for the liver Fluke that should contribute to an increased understanding of liver Fluke-associated diseases. Finally, we describe an integrative evolutionary medicine approach to liver Fluke prevention and control highlighting the need to better contextualize interventions within a broader human health and sustainable development framework.

  8. Mapping Biological Transmission: An Empirical, Dynamical, and Evolutionary Approach.

    PubMed

    Merlin, Francesca; Riboli-Sasco, Livio

    2017-06-01

    The current debate over extending inheritance and its evolutionary impact has focused on adding new categories of non-genetic factors to the classical transmission of DNA, and on trying to redefine inheritance. Transmitted factors have been mainly characterized by their directions of transmission (vertical, horizontal, or both) and the way they store variations. In this paper, we leave aside the issue of defining inheritance. We rather try to build an evolutionary conceptual framework that allows for tracing most, if not all forms of transmission and makes sense of their different tempos and modes. We discuss three key distinctions that should in particular be the targets of theoretical and empirical investigation, and try to assess the interplay among them and evolutionary dynamics. We distinguish two channels of transmission (channel 1 and channel 2), two measurements of the temporal dynamics of transmission, respectively across and within generations (durability and residency), and two types of transmitted factors according to their evolutionary relevance (selectively relevant and neutral stable factors). By implementing these three distinctions we can then map different forms of transmission over a continuous space describing the combination of their varying dynamical features. While our aim is not to provide yet another model of inheritance, putting together these distinctions and crossing them, we manage to offer an inclusive conceptual framework of transmission, grounded in empirical observation, and coherent with evolutionary theory. This interestingly opens possibilities for qualitative and quantitative analyses, and is a necessary step, we argue, in order to question the interplay between the dynamics of evolution and the dynamics of multiple forms of transmission.

  9. Making waves: the rise and fall and rise of quantitative developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Lance A; Baum, Buzz

    2012-09-01

    The tenth annual RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology symposium 'Quantitative Developmental Biology' held in March 2012 covered a range of topics from coat colour patterning to the mechanics of morphogenesis. The studies presented shared a common theme in which a combination of physical theory, quantitative analysis and experiment was used to understand a specific cellular process in development. This report highlights these innovative studies and the long-standing questions in developmental biology that they seek to answer.

  10. Evolutionary adaptationism: another biological approach to criminal and antisocial behaviour.

    PubMed

    Daly, M

    1996-01-01

    Although in a sense "genetic', the conceptual framework of evolutionary psychology, behavioural ecology and sociobiology is distinct from that of behaviour genetics. Considerable confusion has resulted from failures to recognize the distinctions. These disciplines are primarily concerned with the characterization of evolved adaptations, which are usually species-typical and environmentally contingent, so theory and research in these fields mainly concerns environmental rather than genetic sources of behavioural variation. Heritable behavioural variation is in general neither predicted by nor supportive of adaptationist theories. One might even say that substantial heritability of an apparently consequential attribute is a datum that challenges the tenets of adaptationism. Behaviour genetics and evolutionary adaptationism have had only limited mutual influence, but increasing knowledge of the processes by which genotypes affect behavioural phenotypes should facilitate development of a more synthetic approach.

  11. Fluid dynamics in developmental biology: moving fluids that shape ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Cartwright, Julyan H.E.; Piro, Oreste; Tuval, Idan

    2009-01-01

    Human conception, indeed fertilization in general, takes place in a fluid, but what role does fluid dynamics have during the subsequent development of an organism? It is becoming increasingly clear that the number of genes in the genome of a typical organism is not sufficient to specify the minutiae of all features of its ontogeny. Instead, genetics often acts as a choreographer, guiding development but leaving some aspects to be controlled by physical and chemical means. Fluids are ubiquitous in biological systems, so it is not surprising that fluid dynamics should play an important role in the physical and chemical processes shaping ontogeny. However, only in a few cases have the strands been teased apart to see exactly how fluid forces operate to guide development. Here, we review instances in which the hand of fluid dynamics in developmental biology is acknowledged, both in human development and within a wider biological context, together with some in which fluid dynamics is notable but whose workings have yet to be understood, and we provide a fluid dynamicist’s perspective on possible avenues for future research. PMID:19794816

  12. Gastropod ontogenetic torsion: developmental remnants of an ancient evolutionary change in body plan.

    PubMed

    Page, Louise R

    2003-06-15

    A dramatic morphogenetic movement ('ontogenetic torsion') during the development of gastropods has been proposed as a recapitulation of the original developmental departure that established the novel gastropod body plan. Nevertheless, speculative literature about ontogenetic torsion and its evolutionary significance has far outstripped empirical observations and recent results suggest that the developmental process may be somewhat different than the traditional description. I used scanning electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, phalloidin labeling, and histological sections to monitor displacements of five components of the visceropallium with respect to axial coordinates of the cephalopodium in developing embryos of the caenogastropod, Trichotropis cancellata. Embryos of this species achieve a transient stage of anatomical organization that also arises during development of a vetigastropod (Haliotis kamtschatkana), although morphogenetic processes that generate this stage are different in these two species. At the stage of similarity, the embryonic shell has achieved its definitive orientation with respect to the cephalopodium, but the developing mantle cavity, sensory osphradium, and anus are confined to the right side. I also show that this stage of anatomical organization is recognizable during the development of other gastropods, which collectively represent three major gastropod clades. I propose that ontogenetic torsion should be viewed as a conserved stage of anatomical organization during development, rather than a conserved process of 180 degrees rotation between the visceropallium and cephalopodium. The results lead to the suggestion that the mantle cavity of extant gastropods evolved by enlargement of the right side of the mantle cavity in a monoplacophoran-like ancestor. Under this interpretation, there is no need for a hypothetical pre-gastropod with a mantle cavity that was restricted to the posterior end.

  13. Cell and developmental biology of arbuscular mycorrhiza symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Gutjahr, Caroline; Parniske, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The default mineral nutrient acquisition strategy of land plants is the symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungi. Research into the cell and developmental biology of AM revealed fascinating insights into the plasticity of plant cell development and of interorganismic communication. It is driven by the prospect of increased exploitation of AM benefits for sustainable agriculture. The plant cell developmental program for intracellular accommodation of AM fungi is activated by a genetically defined signaling pathway involving calcium spiking in the nucleus as second messenger. Calcium spiking is triggered by chitooligosaccharides released by AM fungi that are probably perceived via LysM domain receptor kinases. Fungal infection and calcium spiking are spatiotemporally coordinated, and only cells committed to accommodating the fungus undergo high-frequency spiking. Delivery of mineral nutrients by AM fungi occurs at tree-shaped hyphal structures, the arbuscules, in plant cortical cells. Nutrients are taken up at a plant-derived periarbuscular membrane, which surrounds fungal hyphae and carries a specific transporter composition that is of direct importance for symbiotic efficiency. An elegant study has unveiled a new and unexpected mechanism for specific protein localization to the periarbuscular membrane, which relies on the timing of gene expression to synchronize protein biosynthesis with a redirection of secretion. The control of AM development by phytohormones is currently subject to active investigation and has led to the rediscovery of strigolactones. Nearly all tested phytohormones regulate AM development, and major insights into the mechanisms of this regulation are expected in the near future.

  14. Evolutionary cell biology of chromosome segregation: insights from trypanosomes

    PubMed Central

    Akiyoshi, Bungo; Gull, Keith

    2013-01-01

    Faithful transmission of genetic material is essential for the survival of all organisms. Eukaryotic chromosome segregation is driven by the kinetochore that assembles onto centromeric DNA to capture spindle microtubules and govern the movement of chromosomes. Its molecular mechanism has been actively studied in conventional model eukaryotes, such as yeasts, worms, flies and human. However, these organisms are closely related in the evolutionary time scale and it therefore remains unclear whether all eukaryotes use a similar mechanism. The evolutionary origins of the segregation apparatus also remain enigmatic. To gain insights into these questions, it is critical to perform comparative studies. Here, we review our current understanding of the mitotic mechanism in Trypanosoma brucei, an experimentally tractable kinetoplastid parasite that branched early in eukaryotic history. No canonical kinetochore component has been identified, and the design principle of kinetochores might be fundamentally different in kinetoplastids. Furthermore, these organisms do not appear to possess a functional spindle checkpoint that monitors kinetochore–microtubule attachments. With these unique features and the long evolutionary distance from other eukaryotes, understanding the mechanism of chromosome segregation in T. brucei should reveal fundamental requirements for the eukaryotic segregation machinery, and may also provide hints about the origin and evolution of the segregation apparatus. PMID:23635522

  15. Neural crest cells: from developmental biology to clinical interventions.

    PubMed

    Noisa, Parinya; Raivio, Taneli

    2014-09-01

    Neural crest cells are multipotent cells, which are specified in embryonic ectoderm in the border of neural plate and epiderm during early development by interconnection of extrinsic stimuli and intrinsic factors. Neural crest cells are capable of differentiating into various somatic cell types, including melanocytes, craniofacial cartilage and bone, smooth muscle, and peripheral nervous cells, which supports their promise for cell therapy. In this work, we provide a comprehensive review of wide aspects of neural crest cells from their developmental biology to applicability in medical research. We provide a simplified model of neural crest cell development and highlight the key external stimuli and intrinsic regulators that determine the neural crest cell fate. Defects of neural crest cell development leading to several human disorders are also mentioned, with the emphasis of using human induced pluripotent stem cells to model neurocristopathic syndromes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Induced pluripotent stem cells: developmental biology to regenerative medicine.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Timothy J; Martinez-Fernandez, Almudena; Terzic, Andre

    2010-12-01

    Nuclear reprogramming of somatic cells with ectopic stemness factors to bioengineer pluripotent autologous stem cells signals a new era in regenerative medicine. The study of developmental biology has provided a roadmap for cardiac differentiation from embryonic tissue formation to adult heart muscle rejuvenation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of stem-cell-derived cardiogenesis enables the reproducible generation, isolation, and monitoring of progenitors that have the capacity to recapitulate embryogenesis and differentiate into mature cardiac tissue. With the advent of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology, patient-specific stem cells provide a reference point to systematically decipher cardiogenic differentiation through discrete stages of development. Interrogation of iPS cells and their progeny from selected cohorts of patients is an innovative approach towards uncovering the molecular mechanisms of disease. Thus, the principles of cardiogenesis can now be applied to regenerative medicine in order to optimize personalized therapeutics, diagnostics, and discovery-based science for the development of novel clinical applications.

  17. Direct Cardiac Reprogramming: From Developmental Biology to Cardiac Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Li; Srivastava, Deepak

    2013-01-01

    Heart disease affects millions worldwide and is a progressive condition involving loss of cardiomyocytes. The human heart has limited endogenous regenerative capacity and is thus an important target for novel regenerative medicine approaches. While cell-based regenerative therapies hold promise, cellular reprogramming of endogenous cardiac fibroblasts, which represent more than half of the cells in the mammalian heart, may be an attractive alternative strategy for regenerating cardiac muscle. Recent advances leveraging years of developmental biology point to the feasibility of generating de novo cardiomyocyte-like cells from terminally differentiated non-myocytes in the heart in situ after ischemic damage. Here, we review the progress in cardiac reprogramming methods and consider the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in refining this technology for regenerative medicine. PMID:24030021

  18. [Volvox (Chlorophyta, Volvocales) as a model organism in developmental biology].

    PubMed

    Desnitskiĭ, A G

    2009-01-01

    Model systems based on two or more related species with different types of development are finding increasing use in current comparative embryology. Green algae of the genus Volvox offer an interesting opportunity to study sex pheromones, morphogenesis as well as the formation of a somatic cell line undergoing terminal differentiation, senescence, and death as well as a line of reproductive cells, which at first grow and then undergo a series of consecutive divisions that give rise to new organisms. However, almost all studies of the recent years were conducted on a single species, Volvox carteri f. nagariensis. The goal of this publication was to advertise the cosmopolitan alga V. aureus as a model species in developmental biology. Published data on V. aureus are briefly reviewed in comparison with the development of V. carteri and outlooks of further studies are specified. In particular, the expediency of collecting new V. aureus strains from nature to study their development in clonal culture is outlined.

  19. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  20. Biology Teachers' Conceptions of the Diversity of Life and the Historical Development of Evolutionary Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    da Silva, Paloma Rodrigues; de Andrade, Mariana A. Bologna Soares; de Andrade Caldeira, Ana Maria

    2015-01-01

    Biology is a science that involves study of the diversity of living organisms. This diversity has always generated questions and has motivated cultures to seek plausible explanations for the differences and similarities between types of organisms. In biology teaching, these issues are addressed by adopting an evolutionary approach. The aim of this…

  1. Not just a theory--the utility of mathematical models in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Servedio, Maria R; Brandvain, Yaniv; Dhole, Sumit; Fitzpatrick, Courtney L; Goldberg, Emma E; Stern, Caitlin A; Van Cleve, Jeremy; Yeh, D Justin

    2014-12-01

    Progress in science often begins with verbal hypotheses meant to explain why certain biological phenomena exist. An important purpose of mathematical models in evolutionary research, as in many other fields, is to act as “proof-of-concept” tests of the logic in verbal explanations, paralleling the way in which empirical data are used to test hypotheses. Because not all subfields of biology use mathematics for this purpose, misunderstandings of the function of proof-of-concept modeling are common. In the hope of facilitating communication, we discuss the role of proof-of-concept modeling in evolutionary biology.

  2. The Importance of Evolutionary Theory for Developmental Science--And Vice Versa: The Case of Developmental Psychology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greve, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The empirical and conceptual interrelations of phylogeny (evolution) and ontogeny (development) may prove to be more important than previously acknowledged. It is argued that this holds particularly for evolutionary psychology. For instance, an evolutionary point of view will add to the explanation of (the shape of) pre- and post-reductive phases…

  3. The beginnings of developmental biology in Swiss universities.

    PubMed

    Weber, Rudolf

    2002-01-01

    This contribution describes the pioneer work in Developmental Biology, initiated by Swiss scientists. The anatomist W. His (1831-1904) deserves credit as the founder of "Descriptive Embryology". Using novel microscopical techniques, he documented the formation of the embryonic body of various vertebrates as an approach to reveal the mechanisms of morphogenesis. Based on studies of the chick embryo, he designed a fate map of the germ-disk, comprising organ-forming regions, from which the corresponding embryonic structures originate. F. Baltzer (1886-1974) initiated original studies on the role of nuclear and cytoplasmic factors in the development of sea urchin hybrids and newt merogons. Through his experiments on interspecific and intergeneric chimeras of amphibians, he further contributed to the emerging field of "Developmental Genetics". F.E. Lehmann (1901-70) inaugurated work on "Chemical Embryology" and later moved to "Cell Biology". His discoveries on stage- and regional-specific inhibition of morphogenesis by LiCl in newt embryos were important for the understanding of malformations. Further studies regarding the action of cytostatic substances on tail regeneration in tadpoles were intended to yield information on growth control. Original contributions to "Experimental Embryology" were also made by R. Geigy (1902-1995), who devised an ingenuous procedure for obtaining sterile Drosophila flies by UV-irradiation of eggs. In later studies on anuran metamorphosis, he discovered that the morphogenetic effects of the metamorphic hormones are organ-specific and that competence of the larval tissues to respond to thyroid hormone is stage-dependent.

  4. Genome Biology of the Cyclostomes and Insights into the Evolutionary Biology of Vertebrate Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Smith, J. J.; Saha, N. R.; Amemiya, C. T.

    2010-01-01

    The jawless vertebrates (lamprey and hagfish) are the closest extant outgroups to all jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and can therefore provide critical insight into the evolution and basic biology of vertebrate genomes. As such, it is notable that the genomes of lamprey and hagfish posses a capacity for rearrangement that is beyond anything known from the gnathostomes. Like the jawed vertebrates, lamprey and hagfish undergo rearrangement of adaptive immune receptors. However, the receptors and the mechanisms for rearrangement that are utilized by jawless vertebrates clearly evolved independently of the gnathostome system. Unlike the jawed vertebrates, lamprey and hagfish also undergo extensive programmed rearrangements of the genome during embryonic development. By considering these fascinating genome biologies in the context of proposed (albeit contentious) phylogenetic relationships among lamprey, hagfish, and gnathostomes, we can begin to understand the evolutionary history of the vertebrate genome. Specifically, the deep shared ancestry and rapid divergence of lampreys, hagfish and gnathostomes is considered evidence that the two versions of programmed rearrangement present in lamprey and hagfish (embryonic and immune receptor) were present in an ancestral lineage that existed more than 400 million years ago and perhaps included the ancestor of the jawed vertebrates. Validating this premise will require better characterization of the genome sequence and mechanisms of rearrangement in lamprey and hagfish. PMID:21558194

  5. The impact of developmental biology on pluripotent stem cell research: successes and challenges.

    PubMed

    Rossant, Janet

    2011-07-19

    Research on developmental pathways in model organisms provides key information on how to isolate, maintain, and differentiate human pluripotent stem cells. However, details of developmental pathways differ even across mammalian species. Full realization of the potential of stem cells will require more direct studies of human or primate developmental biology.

  6. Evolutionary and developmental analysis reveals KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development

    PubMed Central

    Hensley, Monica R.; Cui, Zhibin; Chua, Rhys F. M.; Simpson, Stefanie; Shammas, Nicole L.; Yang, Jer-Yen; Leung, Yuk Fai; Zhang, GuangJun

    2016-01-01

    Gene co-option, usually after gene duplication, in the evolution of development is found to contribute to vertebrate morphological innovations, including the endothelium-based vascular system. Recently, a zebrafish kank gene was found expressed in the vascular vessel primordium, suggesting KANK genes are a component of the developmental tool kit for the vertebrate vascular system. However, how the KANK gene family is involved in vascular vessel development during evolution remains largely unknown. First, we analyzed the molecular evolution of the KANK genes in metazoan, and found that KANK1, KANK2, KANK3 and KANK4 emerged in the lineage of vertebrate, consistent with the two rounds of vertebrate whole-genome duplications (WGD). Moreover, KANK genes were further duplicated in teleosts through the bony-fish specific WGD, while only kank1 and kank4 duplicates were retained in some of the examined fish species. We also found all zebrafish kank genes, except kank1b, are primarily expressed during embryonic vascular development. Compared to invertebrate KANK gene expression in the central nervous system, the vascular expression of zebrafish kank genes suggested KANK genes were co-opted for vertebrate vascular development. Given the cellular roles of KANK genes, our results suggest that this co-option may facilitate the evolutionary origin of vertebrate vascular vessels. PMID:27292017

  7. Vertebral anatomy in the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris: a developmental and evolutionary analysis.

    PubMed

    Buchholtz, Emily A; Booth, Amy C; Webbink, Katherine E

    2007-06-01

    The vertebral column of the Florida manatee presents an unusual suite of morphological traits. Key among these are a small precaudal count, elongate thoracic vertebrae, extremely short neural spines, lack of a sacral series, high lumbar variability, and the presence of six instead of seven cervical vertebrae. This study documents vertebral morphology, size, and lumbar variation in 71 skeletons of Trichechus manatus latirostris (Florida manatee) and uses the skeletons of Trichechus senegalensis (west African manatee) and Dugong dugon (dugong) in comparative analysis. Vertebral traits are used to define morphological, and by inference developmental, column modules and to propose their hierarchical relationships. A sequence of evolutionary innovations in column morphology is proposed. Results suggest that the origin of the fluke and low rates of cervical growth originated before separation of trichechids (manatees) and dugongids (dugongs). Meristic reduction in count is a later, trichechid innovation and is expressed across the entire precaudal column. Elongation of thoracic vertebrae may be an innovative strategy to generate an elongate column in an animal with a small precaudal count. Elimination of the lumbus through both meristic and homeotic reduction is currently in progress.

  8. Evolutionary Design in Biological Physics and Materials Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, M.; Park, J.-M.; Deem, M. W.

    In this chapter we provide a thorough discussion of the theoretical description of the multi-site approach to cancer vaccination. The discussion is somewhat demanding from a biological point of view. References to primary biological publications are given. A general reference on immunology is [1].

  9. The Stochastic Evolutionary Game for a Population of Biological Networks Under Natural Selection

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Ho, Shih-Ju

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a population of evolutionary biological networks is described by a stochastic dynamic system with intrinsic random parameter fluctuations due to genetic variations and external disturbances caused by environmental changes in the evolutionary process. Since information on environmental changes is unavailable and their occurrence is unpredictable, they can be considered as a game player with the potential to destroy phenotypic stability. The biological network needs to develop an evolutionary strategy to improve phenotypic stability as much as possible, so it can be considered as another game player in the evolutionary process, ie, a stochastic Nash game of minimizing the maximum network evolution level caused by the worst environmental disturbances. Based on the nonlinear stochastic evolutionary game strategy, we find that some genetic variations can be used in natural selection to construct negative feedback loops, efficiently improving network robustness. This provides larger genetic robustness as a buffer against neutral genetic variations, as well as larger environmental robustness to resist environmental disturbances and maintain a network phenotypic traits in the evolutionary process. In this situation, the robust phenotypic traits of stochastic biological networks can be more frequently selected by natural selection in evolution. However, if the harbored neutral genetic variations are accumulated to a sufficiently large degree, and environmental disturbances are strong enough that the network robustness can no longer confer enough genetic robustness and environmental robustness, then the phenotype robustness might break down. In this case, a network phenotypic trait may be pushed from one equilibrium point to another, changing the phenotypic trait and starting a new phase of network evolution through the hidden neutral genetic variations harbored in network robustness by adaptive evolution. Further, the proposed evolutionary game is extended to

  10. Optimal immunity meets natural variation: the evolutionary biology of host defence.

    PubMed

    Graham, A L

    2013-11-01

    This editorial introduces the seven articles that comprise the Parasite Immunology special issue on the Evolutionary Biology of Host Defence. The rationale for an evolutionary approach to immunoparasitology is briefly outlined, and then the articles are placed in that broader context. A central aim of each article is to explain the generation and maintenance of immunological heterogeneity among hosts in nature. The authors describe new tools and approaches that enable unprecedented insight into evolutionary and immunological processes in both the laboratory and the wild. The examples discussed include insects, birds and mammals (as hosts) and trypanosomes, apicomplexans and nematodes (as parasites).

  11. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Linus J.; Kulesa, Paul M.; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E.; Maini, Philip K.

    2016-01-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell–cell interactions, cell–environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions. PMID:27278647

  12. Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding collective cell migration in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Linus J; Kulesa, Paul M; McLennan, Rebecca; Baker, Ruth E; Maini, Philip K

    2016-06-01

    Mathematical models are becoming increasingly integrated with experimental efforts in the study of biological systems. Collective cell migration in developmental biology is a particularly fruitful application area for the development of theoretical models to predict the behaviour of complex multicellular systems with many interacting parts. In this context, mathematical models provide a tool to assess the consistency of experimental observations with testable mechanistic hypotheses. In this review, we showcase examples from recent years of multidisciplinary investigations of neural crest cell migration. The neural crest model system has been used to study how collective migration of cell populations is shaped by cell-cell interactions, cell-environmental interactions and heterogeneity between cells. The wide range of emergent behaviours exhibited by neural crest cells in different embryonal locations and in different organisms helps us chart out the spectrum of collective cell migration. At the same time, this diversity in migratory characteristics highlights the need to reconcile or unify the array of currently hypothesized mechanisms through the next generation of experimental data and generalized theoretical descriptions.

  13. New facilities and instruments for developmental biology research in space.

    PubMed

    Brinckmann, Enno

    2003-01-01

    Three new ESA facilities will be available for biological experiments in Space, Biopack on the Space Shuttle and two instruments on the International Space Station (ISS): BIOLAB in the European "Columbus" Laboratory and the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS) in the US Lab "Destiny". The experiments are housed in standard Experiment Containers, allowing either research in microgravity or acceleration studies with variable g-levels, if mounted on the centrifuges. While Biopack provides only thermal control, BIOLAB and EMCS supply each container with a dedicated atmosphere (controlled CO2, O2 concentration and relative humidity, trace gas removal): EMCS contains also fresh and wastewater reservoirs on its rotors. Power and data lines are available in all the described facilities. Highly automated systems, like BIOLAB's Handling Mechanism and Analysis Instruments, support the telescience concept and help reducing crew time in orbit. A BioGlovebox with its support instruments allows unique research possibilities in Space. The feasibility of experiment hardware inside the containers has been studied by ESA for several kinds of Experiment Support Equipment with potential use for research in Developmental Biology: design concepts for experiments with small eggs, cells and tissues, with small aquatic animals, with insects and with plants are described in this article.

  14. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible.

    PubMed

    Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E

    2013-09-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.

  15. Public health evolutionary biology of antimicrobial resistance: priorities for intervention.

    PubMed

    Baquero, Fernando; Lanza, Val F; Cantón, Rafael; Coque, Teresa M

    2015-03-01

    The three main processes shaping the evolutionary ecology of antibiotic resistance (AbR) involve the emergence, invasion and occupation by antibiotic-resistant genes of significant environments for human health. The process of emergence in complex bacterial populations is a high-frequency, continuous swarming of ephemeral combinatory genetic and epigenetic explorations inside cells and among cells, populations and communities, expanding in different environments (migration), creating the stochastic variation required for evolutionary progress. Invasion refers to the process by which AbR significantly increases in frequency in a given (invaded) environment, led by external invaders local multiplication and spread, or by endogenous conversion. Conversion occurs because of the spread of AbR genes from an exogenous resistant clone into an established (endogenous) bacterial clone(s) colonizing the environment; and/or because of dissemination of particular resistant genetic variants that emerged within an endogenous clonal population. Occupation of a given environment by a resistant variant means a permanent establishment of this organism in this environment, even in the absence of antibiotic selection. Specific interventions on emergence influence invasion, those acting on invasion also influence occupation and interventions on occupation determine emergence. Such interventions should be simultaneously applied, as they are not simple solutions to the complex problem of AbR.

  16. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    PubMed Central

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621

  17. Public health evolutionary biology of antimicrobial resistance: priorities for intervention

    PubMed Central

    Baquero, Fernando; Lanza, Val F; Cantón, Rafael; Coque, Teresa M

    2015-01-01

    The three main processes shaping the evolutionary ecology of antibiotic resistance (AbR) involve the emergence, invasion and occupation by antibiotic-resistant genes of significant environments for human health. The process of emergence in complex bacterial populations is a high-frequency, continuous swarming of ephemeral combinatory genetic and epigenetic explorations inside cells and among cells, populations and communities, expanding in different environments (migration), creating the stochastic variation required for evolutionary progress. Invasion refers to the process by which AbR significantly increases in frequency in a given (invaded) environment, led by external invaders local multiplication and spread, or by endogenous conversion. Conversion occurs because of the spread of AbR genes from an exogenous resistant clone into an established (endogenous) bacterial clone(s) colonizing the environment; and/or because of dissemination of particular resistant genetic variants that emerged within an endogenous clonal population. Occupation of a given environment by a resistant variant means a permanent establishment of this organism in this environment, even in the absence of antibiotic selection. Specific interventions on emergence influence invasion, those acting on invasion also influence occupation and interventions on occupation determine emergence. Such interventions should be simultaneously applied, as they are not simple solutions to the complex problem of AbR. PMID:25861381

  18. Evolutionary thinking

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  19. Biological and Environmental Correlates of Developmental Outcomes of Prematurely Born Infants in Early Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levy-Shiff, Rachel; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Examined the role of biological factors, such as perinatal complications, and psychological factors, such as maternal attitudes, in predicting developmental outcomes in preterm children. Findings support the main effects model of biological and environmental factors in explaining developmental psychopathology, but also the interactional model, as…

  20. Amborella trichopoda (Amborellaceae) and the evolutionary developmental origins of the angiosperm progamic phase.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joseph H

    2009-01-01

    A remarkable number of the defining features of flowering plants are expressed during the life history stage between pollination and fertilization. Hand pollinations of Amborella trichopoda (Amborellaceae) in New Caledonia show that when the stigma is first receptive, the female gametophyte is near maturity. Pollen germinates within 2 h, and pollen tubes with callose walls and plugs grow entirely within secretions from stigma to stylar canal and ovarian cavity. Pollen tubes enter the micropyle within 14 h, and double fertilization occurs within 24 h. Hundreds of pollen tubes grow to the base of the stigma, but few enter the open stylar canal. New data from Amborella, combined with a review of fertilization biology of other early-divergent angiosperms, show that an evolutionary transition from slow reproduction to rapid reproduction occurred early in angiosperm history. I identify increased pollen tube growth rates within novel secretory carpel tissues as the primary mechanism for such a shift. The opportunity for prezygotic selection through interactions with the stigma is also an important innovation. Pollen tube wall construction and substantial modifications of the ovule and its associated structures greatly facilitated a new kind of reproductive biology.

  1. Evolutionary cell biology: functional insight from "endless forms most beautiful".

    PubMed

    Richardson, Elisabeth; Zerr, Kelly; Tsaousis, Anastasios; Dorrell, Richard G; Dacks, Joel B

    2015-12-15

    In animal and fungal model organisms, the complexities of cell biology have been analyzed in exquisite detail and much is known about how these organisms function at the cellular level. However, the model organisms cell biologists generally use include only a tiny fraction of the true diversity of eukaryotic cellular forms. The divergent cellular processes observed in these more distant lineages are still largely unknown in the general scientific community. Despite the relative obscurity of these organisms, comparative studies of them across eukaryotic diversity have had profound implications for our understanding of fundamental cell biology in all species and have revealed the evolution and origins of previously observed cellular processes. In this Perspective, we will discuss the complexity of cell biology found across the eukaryotic tree, and three specific examples of where studies of divergent cell biology have altered our understanding of key functional aspects of mitochondria, plastids, and membrane trafficking. © 2015 Richardson et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  2. Design of synthetic biological logic circuits based on evolutionary algorithm.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Chia-Hua; Lin, Chun-Liang; Chang, Yen-Chang; Jennawasin, Tanagorn; Chen, Po-Kuei

    2013-08-01

    The construction of an artificial biological logic circuit using systematic strategy is recognised as one of the most important topics for the development of synthetic biology. In this study, a real-structured genetic algorithm (RSGA), which combines general advantages of the traditional real genetic algorithm with those of the structured genetic algorithm, is proposed to deal with the biological logic circuit design problem. A general model with the cis-regulatory input function and appropriate promoter activity functions is proposed to synthesise a wide variety of fundamental logic gates such as NOT, Buffer, AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR. The results obtained can be extended to synthesise advanced combinational and sequential logic circuits by topologically distinct connections. The resulting optimal design of these logic gates and circuits are established via the RSGA. The in silico computer-based modelling technology has been verified showing its great advantages in the purpose.

  3. [Evolutionary-biological peculiarities of transglutaminase. Structure, physiological functions, application].

    PubMed

    Shleĭkin, A G; Danilov, N P

    2011-01-01

    Transglutaminasc (protein-glutamine gamma-glutamyltransferase, EC 2.3.2.13, TG) catalyzes reactions of the acyl transfer, which introduce the epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysine bonds between proteins to create polymers of high mol. mass. Properties of the TG enzyme are described. Its structure is considered: there are characterized items of the TG life cycle and stability, its biological (physiological) role, and significance in pathology and medicine as well as obtaining of the purified enzyme preparations and their use. There are compared TG from different sources: of animal and microbial origin. Mechanism of catalysis of microbial TG is discussed. There are presented characteristics of isoenzymes from different biological sources.

  4. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J.; Meachen, Julie; O’Keefe, F. Robin

    2015-01-01

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change. PMID:25901310

  5. The fossil record of phenotypic integration and modularity: A deep-time perspective on developmental and evolutionary dynamics.

    PubMed

    Goswami, Anjali; Binder, Wendy J; Meachen, Julie; O'Keefe, F Robin

    2015-04-21

    Variation is the raw material for natural selection, but the factors shaping variation are still poorly understood. Genetic and developmental interactions can direct variation, but there has been little synthesis of these effects with the extrinsic factors that can shape biodiversity over large scales. The study of phenotypic integration and modularity has the capacity to unify these aspects of evolutionary study by estimating genetic and developmental interactions through the quantitative analysis of morphology, allowing for combined assessment of intrinsic and extrinsic effects. Data from the fossil record in particular are central to our understanding of phenotypic integration and modularity because they provide the only information on deep-time developmental and evolutionary dynamics, including trends in trait relationships and their role in shaping organismal diversity. Here, we demonstrate the important perspective on phenotypic integration provided by the fossil record with a study of Smilodon fatalis (saber-toothed cats) and Canis dirus (dire wolves). We quantified temporal trends in size, variance, phenotypic integration, and direct developmental integration (fluctuating asymmetry) through 27,000 y of Late Pleistocene climate change. Both S. fatalis and C. dirus showed a gradual decrease in magnitude of phenotypic integration and an increase in variance and the correlation between fluctuating asymmetry and overall integration through time, suggesting that developmental integration mediated morphological response to environmental change in the later populations of these species. These results are consistent with experimental studies and represent, to our knowledge, the first deep-time validation of the importance of developmental integration in stabilizing morphological evolution through periods of environmental change.

  6. Conduct problems in youth and the RDoC approach: A developmental, evolutionary-based view.

    PubMed

    Fonagy, Peter; Luyten, Patrick

    2017-09-08

    Problems related to aggression in young people are traditionally subsumed under the header of conduct problems, which include conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. Such problems in children and adolescents are an important societal and mental health problem. In this paper we present an evolutionarily informed developmental psychopathology view of conduct problems inspired by the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. We assume that while there are many pathways to conduct problems, chronic or temporary impairments in the domain of social cognition or mentalizing are a common denominator. Specifically, we conceptualize conduct problems as reflecting temporary or chronic difficulties with mentalizing, that is, the capacity to understand the self and others in terms of intentional mental states, leading to a failure to inhibit interpersonal violence through a process of perspective-taking and empathy. These difficulties, in turn, stem from impairments in making use of a normally evolutionarily protected social learning system that functions to facilitate intergenerational knowledge transmission and protect social collaborative processes from impulsive and aggressive action. Temperamental, biological, and social risk factors in different combinations may all contribute to this outcome. This adaptation then interacts with impairments in other domains of functioning, such as in negative and positive valence systems and cognitive systems. This view highlights the importance of a complex interplay among biological, psychological, and environmental factors in understanding the origins of conduct problems. We outline the implications of these views for future research and intervention. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolutionary dynamics of tree invasions: complementing the unified framework for biological invasions

    PubMed Central

    Dickie, Ian A.; Wingfield, Michael J.; Hirsch, Heidi; Crous, Casparus J.; Meyerson, Laura A.; Burgess, Treena I.; Zimmermann, Thalita G.; Klock, Metha M.; Siemann, Evan; Erfmeier, Alexandra; Aragon, Roxana; Montti, Lia; Le Roux, Johannes J.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Evolutionary processes greatly impact the outcomes of biological invasions. An extensive body of research suggests that invasive populations often undergo phenotypic and ecological divergence from their native sources. Evolution also operates at different and distinct stages during the invasion process. Thus, it is important to incorporate evolutionary change into frameworks of biological invasions because it allows us to conceptualize how these processes may facilitate or hinder invasion success. Here, we review such processes, with an emphasis on tree invasions, and place them in the context of the unified framework for biological invasions. The processes and mechanisms described are pre-introduction evolutionary history, sampling effect, founder effect, genotype-by-environment interactions, admixture, hybridization, polyploidization, rapid evolution, epigenetics and second-genomes. For the last, we propose that co-evolved symbionts, both beneficial and harmful, which are closely physiologically associated with invasive species, contain critical genetic traits that affect the evolutionary dynamics of biological invasions. By understanding the mechanisms underlying invasion success, researchers will be better equipped to predict, understand and manage biological invasions. PMID:28039118

  8. Evolutionary dynamics of tree invasions: complementing the unified framework for biological invasions.

    PubMed

    Zenni, Rafael Dudeque; Dickie, Ian A; Wingfield, Michael J; Hirsch, Heidi; Crous, Casparus J; Meyerson, Laura A; Burgess, Treena I; Zimmermann, Thalita G; Klock, Metha M; Siemann, Evan; Erfmeier, Alexandra; Aragon, Roxana; Montti, Lia; Le Roux, Johannes J

    2016-12-30

    Evolutionary processes greatly impact the outcomes of biological invasions. An extensive body of research suggests that invasive populations often undergo phenotypic and ecological divergence from their native sources. Evolution also operates at different and distinct stages during the invasion process. Thus, it is important to incorporate evolutionary change into frameworks of biological invasions because it allows us to conceptualize how these processes may facilitate or hinder invasion success. Here, we review such processes, with an emphasis on tree invasions, and place them in the context of the unified framework for biological invasions. The processes and mechanisms described are pre-introduction evolutionary history, sampling effect, founder effect, genotype-by-environment interactions, admixture, hybridization, polyploidization, rapid evolution, epigenetics, and second-genomes. For the last, we propose that co-evolved symbionts, both beneficial and harmful, which are closely physiologically associated with invasive species, contain critical genetic traits that affect the evolutionary dynamics of biological invasions. By understanding the mechanisms underlying invasion success, researchers will be better equipped to predict, understand, and manage biological invasions.

  9. Children's Ability to Learn Evolutionary Explanations for Biological Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shtulman, Andrew; Neal, Cara; Lindquist, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Evolution by natural selection is often relegated to the high school curriculum on the assumption that younger students cannot grasp its complexity. We sought to test that assumption by teaching children ages 4-12 (n = 96) a selection-based explanation for biological adaptation and comparing their success to that of adults…

  10. Children's Ability to Learn Evolutionary Explanations for Biological Adaptation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shtulman, Andrew; Neal, Cara; Lindquist, Gabrielle

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Evolution by natural selection is often relegated to the high school curriculum on the assumption that younger students cannot grasp its complexity. We sought to test that assumption by teaching children ages 4-12 (n = 96) a selection-based explanation for biological adaptation and comparing their success to that of adults…

  11. Metabolism in time and space - exploring the frontier of developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Krejci, Alena; Tennessen, Jason M

    2017-09-15

    Despite the fact that metabolic studies played a prominent role in the early history of developmental biology research, the field of developmental metabolism was largely ignored following the advent of modern molecular biology. Metabolism, however, has recently re-emerged as a focal point of biomedical studies and, as a result, developmental biologists are once again exploring the chemical and energetic forces that shape growth, development and maturation. In May 2017, a diverse group of scientists assembled at the EMBO/EMBL Symposium 'Metabolism in Time and Space' to discuss how metabolism influences cellular and developmental processes. The speakers not only described how metabolic flux adapts to the energetic needs of a developing organism, but also emphasized that metabolism can directly regulate developmental progression. Overall, and as we review here, this interdisciplinary meeting provided a valuable forum to explore the interface between developmental biology and metabolism. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Genetics, genomics, and evolutionary biology of NKG2D ligands.

    PubMed

    Carapito, Raphael; Bahram, Seiamak

    2015-09-01

    Human and mouse NKG2D ligands (NKG2DLs) are absent or only poorly expressed by most normal cells but are upregulated by cell stress, hence, alerting the immune system in case of malignancy or infection. Although these ligands are numerous and highly variable (at genetic, genomic, structural, and biochemical levels), they all belong to the major histocompatibility complex class I gene superfamily and bind to a single, invariant, receptor: NKG2D. NKG2D (CD314) is an activating receptor expressed on NK cells and subsets of T cells that have a key role in the recognition and lysis of infected and tumor cells. Here, we review the molecular diversity of NKG2DLs, discuss the increasing appreciation of their roles in a variety of medical conditions, and propose several explanations for the evolutionary force(s) that seem to drive the multiplicity and diversity of NKG2DLs while maintaining their interaction with a single invariant receptor. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Developmental consequences and biological significance of mother-infant bonding.

    PubMed

    Mogi, Kazutaka; Nagasawa, Miho; Kikusui, Takefumi

    2011-07-01

    Mother-infant bonding is universal to all mammalian species. Here, we review how mutual communication between the mother and infant leads to mother-infant bonding in non-primate species. In rodents, mother-infant bond formation is reinforced by various pup stimuli, such as tactile stimuli and ultrasonic vocalizations. Evidence suggests that the oxytocin neural system plays a pivotal role in each aspect of the mother-infant bonding, although the mechanisms underlying bond formation in the brain of infants has not yet been clarified. Impairment of mother-infant bonding strongly influences offspring sociality. We describe the negative effects of mother-infant bonding deprivation on the neurobehavioral development in rodent offspring, even if weaning occurs in the later lactating period. We also discuss similar effects observed in pigs and dogs, which are usually weaned earlier than under natural conditions. The comparative understanding of the developmental consequences of mother-infant bonding and the underlying mechanisms provide insight into the biological significance of this bonding in mammals, and may help us to understand psychiatric disorders related to child abuse or childhood neglect.

  14. Evolutionary biology and chemical geology: a timely marriage.

    PubMed

    Cintas, Pedro

    2004-07-05

    For more than 150 years natural selection has been perceived to be the overwhelming force in evolution. Only in recent decades have we obtained new insights into environmental and physicochemical factors that participate with selection in a synergic way. Far from denying Darwin's theory, such neglected factors put order to the bewildering range of genotypes and morphologies found in living organisms and, more importantly, they place evolution in a planetary context where biology, geology, and chemistry can easily be integrated.

  15. Genetic regulatory network models of biological clocks: evolutionary history matters.

    PubMed

    Knabe, Johannes F; Nehaniv, Chrystopher L; Schilstra, Maria J

    2008-01-01

    We study the evolvability and dynamics of artificial genetic regulatory networks (GRNs), as active control systems, realizing simple models of biological clocks that have evolved to respond to periodic environmental stimuli of various kinds with appropriate periodic behaviors. GRN models may differ in the evolvability of expressive regulatory dynamics. A new class of artificial GRNs with an evolvable number of complex cis-regulatory control sites--each involving a finite number of inhibitory and activatory binding factors--is introduced, allowing realization of complex regulatory logic. Previous work on biological clocks in nature has noted the capacity of clocks to oscillate in the absence of environmental stimuli, putting forth several candidate explanations for their observed behavior, related to anticipation of environmental conditions, compartmentation of activities in time, and robustness to perturbations of various kinds or to unselected accidents of neutral selection. Several of these hypotheses are explored by evolving GRNs with and without (Gaussian) noise and blackout periods for environmental stimulation. Robustness to certain types of perturbation appears to account for some, but not all, dynamical properties of the evolved networks. Unselected abilities, also observed for biological clocks, include the capacity to adapt to change in wavelength of environmental stimulus and to clock resetting.

  16. Evolutionary Tradeoffs between Economy and Effectiveness in Biological Homeostasis Systems

    PubMed Central

    Szekely, Pablo; Sheftel, Hila; Mayo, Avi; Alon, Uri

    2013-01-01

    Biological regulatory systems face a fundamental tradeoff: they must be effective but at the same time also economical. For example, regulatory systems that are designed to repair damage must be effective in reducing damage, but economical in not making too many repair proteins because making excessive proteins carries a fitness cost to the cell, called protein burden. In order to see how biological systems compromise between the two tasks of effectiveness and economy, we applied an approach from economics and engineering called Pareto optimality. This approach allows calculating the best-compromise systems that optimally combine the two tasks. We used a simple and general model for regulation, known as integral feedback, and showed that best-compromise systems have particular combinations of biochemical parameters that control the response rate and basal level. We find that the optimal systems fall on a curve in parameter space. Due to this feature, even if one is able to measure only a small fraction of the system's parameters, one can infer the rest. We applied this approach to estimate parameters in three biological systems: response to heat shock and response to DNA damage in bacteria, and calcium homeostasis in mammals. PMID:23950698

  17. Datamonkey 2010: a suite of phylogenetic analysis tools for evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    Delport, Wayne; Poon, Art F. Y.; Frost, Simon D. W.; Kosakovsky Pond, Sergei L.

    2010-01-01

    Summary: Datamonkey is a popular web-based suite of phylogenetic analysis tools for use in evolutionary biology. Since the original release in 2005, we have expanded the analysis options to include recently developed algorithmic methods for recombination detection, evolutionary fingerprinting of genes, codon model selection, co-evolution between sites, identification of sites, which rapidly escape host-immune pressure and HIV-1 subtype assignment. The traditional selection tools have also been augmented to include recent developments in the field. Here, we summarize the analyses options currently available on Datamonkey, and provide guidelines for their use in evolutionary biology. Availability and documentation: http://www.datamonkey.org Contact: spond@ucsd.edu PMID:20671151

  18. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    How Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful” have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating “evolutionary thinking” into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. PMID:25664446

  20. Evolution of microbes and viruses: a paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    PubMed Central

    Koonin, Eugene V.; Wolf, Yuri I.

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain “ribosomal Tree of Life” that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology. PMID

  1. Evolution of microbes and viruses: a paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?

    PubMed

    Koonin, Eugene V; Wolf, Yuri I

    2012-01-01

    When Charles Darwin formulated the central principles of evolutionary biology in the Origin of Species in 1859 and the architects of the Modern Synthesis integrated these principles with population genetics almost a century later, the principal if not the sole objects of evolutionary biology were multicellular eukaryotes, primarily animals and plants. Before the advent of efficient gene sequencing, all attempts to extend evolutionary studies to bacteria have been futile. Sequencing of the rRNA genes in thousands of microbes allowed the construction of the three- domain "ribosomal Tree of Life" that was widely thought to have resolved the evolutionary relationships between the cellular life forms. However, subsequent massive sequencing of numerous, complete microbial genomes revealed novel evolutionary phenomena, the most fundamental of these being: (1) pervasive horizontal gene transfer (HGT), in large part mediated by viruses and plasmids, that shapes the genomes of archaea and bacteria and call for a radical revision (if not abandonment) of the Tree of Life concept, (2) Lamarckian-type inheritance that appears to be critical for antivirus defense and other forms of adaptation in prokaryotes, and (3) evolution of evolvability, i.e., dedicated mechanisms for evolution such as vehicles for HGT and stress-induced mutagenesis systems. In the non-cellular part of the microbial world, phylogenomics and metagenomics of viruses and related selfish genetic elements revealed enormous genetic and molecular diversity and extremely high abundance of viruses that come across as the dominant biological entities on earth. Furthermore, the perennial arms race between viruses and their hosts is one of the defining factors of evolution. Thus, microbial phylogenomics adds new dimensions to the fundamental picture of evolution even as the principle of descent with modification discovered by Darwin and the laws of population genetics remain at the core of evolutionary biology.

  2. A Course in Evolutionary Biology: Engaging Students in the "Practice" of Evolution. Research Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Passmore, Cynthia; Stewart, James

    Recent education reform documents emphasize the need for students to develop a rich understanding of evolution's power to integrate knowledge of the natural world. This paper describes a nine-week high school course designed to help students understand evolutionary biology by engaging them in developing, elaborating, and using Charles Darwin's…

  3. Remembering the forest while viewing the trees: evolutionary thinking in the teaching of molecular biology.

    PubMed

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of evolution in diverse contexts, including those where it is not explicitly mentioned.

  4. Remembering the Forest While Viewing the Trees: Evolutionary Thinking in the Teaching of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of…

  5. Remembering the Forest While Viewing the Trees: Evolutionary Thinking in the Teaching of Molecular Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saraswati, Sitaraman; Sitaraman, Ramakrishnan

    2014-01-01

    Given the centrality of evolutionary theory to the study of biology, we present a strategy for reinforcing its importance by appropriately recontextualizing classic and well-known experiments that are not explicitly linked with evolution in conventional texts. This exercise gives students an appreciation of the applicability of the theory of…

  6. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  7. Inherit the Policy: A Sociocultural Approach to Understanding Evolutionary Biology Policy in South Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Gregory D.

    2012-01-01

    South Carolina biology Indicator 5.6 calls for students to "Summarize ways that scientists use data from a variety of sources to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory" (South Carolina Department of Education, 2006). Levinson and Sutton (2001) offered a sociocultural approach to policy that considers cultural…

  8. Latitudinal clines: an evolutionary view on biological rhythms†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Hut, Roelof A.; Paolucci, Silvia; Dor, Roi; Kyriacou, Charalambos P.; Daan, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Properties of the circadian and annual timing systems are expected to vary systematically with latitude on the basis of different annual light and temperature patterns at higher latitudes, creating specific selection pressures. We review literature with respect to latitudinal clines in circadian phenotypes as well as in polymorphisms of circadian clock genes and their possible association with annual timing. The use of latitudinal (and altitudinal) clines in identifying selective forces acting on biological rhythms is discussed, and we evaluate how these studies can reveal novel molecular and physiological components of these rhythms. PMID:23825204

  9. Evolutionary game based control for biological systems with applications in drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaobo; Lenaghan, Scott C; Zhang, Mingjun

    2013-06-07

    Control engineering and analysis of biological systems have become increasingly important for systems and synthetic biology. Unfortunately, no widely accepted control framework is currently available for these systems, especially at the cell and molecular levels. This is partially due to the lack of appropriate mathematical models to describe the unique dynamics of biological systems, and the lack of implementation techniques, such as ultra-fast and ultra-small devices and corresponding control algorithms. This paper proposes a control framework for biological systems subject to dynamics that exhibit adaptive behavior under evolutionary pressures. The control framework was formulated based on evolutionary game based modeling, which integrates both the internal dynamics and the population dynamics. In the proposed control framework, the adaptive behavior was characterized as an internal dynamic, and the external environment was regarded as an external control input. The proposed open-interface control framework can be integrated with additional control algorithms for control of biological systems. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework, an optimal control strategy was developed and validated for drug delivery using the pathogen Giardia lamblia as a test case. In principle, the proposed control framework can be applied to any biological system exhibiting adaptive behavior under evolutionary pressures. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Developmental biology of hagfishes, with a report on newly obtained embryos of the Japanese inshore hagfish, Eptatretus burgeri.

    PubMed

    Ota, Kinya G; Kuratani, Shigeru

    2008-10-01

    The apparently primitive features of hagfishes are recognized as a crucial problem in the study of vertebrate evolution, although the monophyletic relationship between these animals and lampreys has been confirmed by large amounts of molecular data, including genome and EST sequences. To solve this problem requires knowledge of the developmental biology of hagfishes. We attempted to obtain embryos from the Japanese inshore hagfish ( Eptatretus burgeri ) and succeeded in preparing several nicely fixed embryos. Based on detailed histological observations and comparison of gene expression patterns with those of conventional vertebrates, we examined the developmental processes involved in some important morphological traits, including the neural crest, placode, pharyngeal arches, and others. Our data revealed that some apparently primitive morphological traits can be regarded as artifacts deriving mainly from fixation conditions. In addition, our long-term observations of live embryos revealed a slow developmental rate in this animal. In this review, we summarize recent developmental data from these hagfish embryos and discuss a plausible evolutionary scenario for vertebrate development, making comparisons with some old descriptions.

  11. Looking in the right direction: Carl Woese and evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Goldenfeld, Nigel

    2014-01-01

    Carl Woese is known to the scientific community primarily through his landmark contributions to microbiology, in particular, his discovery of the third Domain of Life, which came to be known as the Archaea. While it is well known how he made this discovery, through the techniques he developed based on his studies of rRNA, the reasons why he was driven in this scientific direction, and what he saw as the principle outcome of his discovery--it was not the Archaea!--are not so widely appreciated. In this essay, I discuss his vision of evolution, one which transcends population genetics, and which has ramifications not only for our understanding of the origin of life on Earth and elsewhere, but also for our understanding of biology as a novel class of complex dynamical systems.

  12. A tale of two matrices: multivariate approaches in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Blows, M W

    2007-01-01

    Two symmetric matrices underlie our understanding of microevolutionary change. The first is the matrix of nonlinear selection gradients (gamma) which describes the individual fitness surface. The second is the genetic variance-covariance matrix (G) that influences the multivariate response to selection. A common approach to the empirical analysis of these matrices is the element-by-element testing of significance, and subsequent biological interpretation of pattern based on these univariate and bivariate parameters. Here, I show why this approach is likely to misrepresent the genetic basis of quantitative traits, and the selection acting on them in many cases. Diagonalization of square matrices is a fundamental aspect of many of the multivariate statistical techniques used by biologists. Applying this, and other related approaches, to the analysis of the structure of gamma and G matrices, gives greater insight into the form and strength of nonlinear selection, and the availability of genetic variance for multiple traits.

  13. The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology.

    PubMed

    Bard, Jonathan Bl

    2011-11-03

    The evolutionary synthesis, the standard 20th century view of how evolutionary change occurs, is based on selection, heritable phenotypic variation and a very simple view of genes. It is therefore unable to incorporate two key aspects of modern molecular knowledge: first is the richness of genomic variation, so much more complicated than simple mutation, and second is the opaque relationship between the genotype and its resulting phenotype. Two new and important books shed some light on how we should view evolutionary change now. "Evolution: a view from the 21st century" by J.A. Shapiro (2011, FT Press Science, New Jersey, USA. pp. 246) examines the richness of genomic variation and its implications. "Transformations of Lamarckism: from Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology" edited by S.B. Gissis & E. Jablonka (2011, MIT Press, Cambridge, USA. pp. 457) includes some 40 papers that anyone with an interest in the history of evolutionary thought and the relationship between the environment and the genome will want to read. This review discusses both books within the context of contemporary evolutionary thinking and points out that neither really comes to terms with today's key systems-biology question: how does mutation-induced variation in a molecular network generate variation in the resulting phenotype?

  14. Evolutionary systems biology of amino acid biosynthetic cost in yeast.

    PubMed

    Barton, Michael D; Delneri, Daniela; Oliver, Stephen G; Rattray, Magnus; Bergman, Casey M

    2010-08-17

    Every protein has a biosynthetic cost to the cell based on the synthesis of its constituent amino acids. In order to optimise growth and reproduction, natural selection is expected, where possible, to favour the use of proteins whose constituents are cheaper to produce, as reduced biosynthetic cost may confer a fitness advantage to the organism. Quantifying the cost of amino acid biosynthesis presents challenges, since energetic requirements may change across different cellular and environmental conditions. We developed a systems biology approach to estimate the cost of amino acid synthesis based on genome-scale metabolic models and investigated the effects of the cost of amino acid synthesis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression and protein evolution. First, we used our two new and six previously reported measures of amino acid cost in conjunction with codon usage bias, tRNA gene number and atomic composition to identify which of these factors best predict transcript and protein levels. Second, we compared amino acid cost with rates of amino acid substitution across four species in the genus Saccharomyces. Regardless of which cost measure is used, amino acid biosynthetic cost is weakly associated with transcript and protein levels. In contrast, we find that biosynthetic cost and amino acid substitution rates show a negative correlation, but for only a subset of cost measures. In the economy of the yeast cell, we find that the cost of amino acid synthesis plays a limited role in shaping transcript and protein expression levels compared to that of translational optimisation. Biosynthetic cost does, however, appear to affect rates of amino acid evolution in Saccharomyces, suggesting that expensive amino acids may only be used when they have specific structural or functional roles in protein sequences. However, as there appears to be no single currency to compute the cost of amino acid synthesis across all cellular and environmental conditions, we conclude that

  15. Evolutionary Systems Biology of Amino Acid Biosynthetic Cost in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Michael D.; Delneri, Daniela; Oliver, Stephen G.; Rattray, Magnus; Bergman, Casey M.

    2010-01-01

    Every protein has a biosynthetic cost to the cell based on the synthesis of its constituent amino acids. In order to optimise growth and reproduction, natural selection is expected, where possible, to favour the use of proteins whose constituents are cheaper to produce, as reduced biosynthetic cost may confer a fitness advantage to the organism. Quantifying the cost of amino acid biosynthesis presents challenges, since energetic requirements may change across different cellular and environmental conditions. We developed a systems biology approach to estimate the cost of amino acid synthesis based on genome-scale metabolic models and investigated the effects of the cost of amino acid synthesis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene expression and protein evolution. First, we used our two new and six previously reported measures of amino acid cost in conjunction with codon usage bias, tRNA gene number and atomic composition to identify which of these factors best predict transcript and protein levels. Second, we compared amino acid cost with rates of amino acid substitution across four species in the genus Saccharomyces. Regardless of which cost measure is used, amino acid biosynthetic cost is weakly associated with transcript and protein levels. In contrast, we find that biosynthetic cost and amino acid substitution rates show a negative correlation, but for only a subset of cost measures. In the economy of the yeast cell, we find that the cost of amino acid synthesis plays a limited role in shaping transcript and protein expression levels compared to that of translational optimisation. Biosynthetic cost does, however, appear to affect rates of amino acid evolution in Saccharomyces, suggesting that expensive amino acids may only be used when they have specific structural or functional roles in protein sequences. However, as there appears to be no single currency to compute the cost of amino acid synthesis across all cellular and environmental conditions, we conclude that

  16. On the Interplay between the Evolvability and Network Robustness in an Evolutionary Biological Network: A Systems Biology Approach

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2011-01-01

    In the evolutionary process, the random transmission and mutation of genes provide biological diversities for natural selection. In order to preserve functional phenotypes between generations, gene networks need to evolve robustly under the influence of random perturbations. Therefore, the robustness of the phenotype, in the evolutionary process, exerts a selection force on gene networks to keep network functions. However, gene networks need to adjust, by variations in genetic content, to generate phenotypes for new challenges in the network’s evolution, ie, the evolvability. Hence, there should be some interplay between the evolvability and network robustness in evolutionary gene networks. In this study, the interplay between the evolvability and network robustness of a gene network and a biochemical network is discussed from a nonlinear stochastic system point of view. It was found that if the genetic robustness plus environmental robustness is less than the network robustness, the phenotype of the biological network is robust in evolution. The tradeoff between the genetic robustness and environmental robustness in evolution is discussed from the stochastic stability robustness and sensitivity of the nonlinear stochastic biological network, which may be relevant to the statistical tradeoff between bias and variance, the so-called bias/variance dilemma. Further, the tradeoff could be considered as an antagonistic pleiotropic action of a gene network and discussed from the systems biology perspective. PMID:22084563

  17. Evolutionary systems biology: historical and philosophical perspectives on an emerging synthesis.

    PubMed

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2012-01-01

    Systems biology (SB) is at least a decade old now and maturing rapidly. A more recent field, evolutionary systems biology (ESB), is in the process of further developing system-level approaches through the expansion of their explanatory and potentially predictive scope. This chapter will outline the varieties of ESB existing today by tracing the diverse roots and fusions that make up this integrative project. My approach is philosophical and historical. As well as examining the recent origins of ESB, I will reflect on its central features and the different clusters of research it comprises. In its broadest interpretation, ESB consists of five overlapping approaches: comparative and correlational ESB; network architecture ESB; network property ESB; population genetics ESB; and finally, standard evolutionary questions answered with SB methods. After outlining each approach with examples, I will examine some strong general claims about ESB, particularly that it can be viewed as the next step toward a fuller modern synthesis of evolutionary biology (EB), and that it is also the way forward for evolutionary and systems medicine. I will conclude with a discussion of whether the emerging field of ESB has the capacity to combine an even broader scope of research aims and efforts than it presently does.

  18. Evolutionary and biological implications of dental mesial drift in rodents: the case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia).

    PubMed

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view.

  19. Evolutionary and Biological Implications of Dental Mesial Drift in Rodents: The Case of the Ctenodactylidae (Rodentia, Mammalia)

    PubMed Central

    Gomes Rodrigues, Helder; Solé, Floréal; Charles, Cyril; Tafforeau, Paul; Vianey-Liaud, Monique; Viriot, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    Dental characters are importantly used for reconstructing the evolutionary history of mammals, because teeth represent the most abundant material available for the fossil species. However, the characteristics of dental renewal are presently poorly used, probably because dental formulae are frequently not properly established, whereas they could be of high interest for evolutionary and developmental issues. One of the oldest rodent families, the Ctenodactylidae, is intriguing in having longstanding disputed dental formulae. Here, we investigated 70 skulls among all extant ctenodactylid genera (Ctenodactylus, Felovia, Massoutiera and Pectinator) by using X-ray conventional and synchrotron microtomography in order to solve and discuss these dental issues. Our study clearly indicates that Massoutiera, Felovia and Ctenodactylus differ from Pectinator not only by a more derived dentition, but also by a more derived eruptive sequence. In addition to molars, their dentition only includes the fourth deciduous premolars, and no longer bears permanent premolars, conversely to Pectinator. Moreover, we found that these premolars are lost during adulthood, because of mesial drift of molars. Mesial drift is a striking mechanism involving migration of teeth allowed by both bone remodeling and dental resorption. This dental innovation is to date poorly known in rodents, since it is only the second report described. Interestingly, we noted that dental drift in rodents is always associated with high-crowned teeth favoring molar size enlargement. It can thus represent another adaptation to withstand high wear, inasmuch as these rodents inhabit desert environments where dust is abundant. A more accurate study of mesial drift in rodents would be very promising from evolutionary, biological and orthodontic points of view. PMID:23185576

  20. Twenty Years in Maine: Integrating Insights from Developmental Biology into Translational Medicine in a Small State.

    PubMed

    Gridley, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter, I give my personal reflections on more than 30 years of studying developmental biology in the mouse model, spending 20 of those years doing research in Maine, a small rural state. I also give my thoughts on my recent experience transitioning to a large medical center in Maine, and the issues involved with integrating insights from developmental biology and regenerative medicine into the fabric of translational and clinical patient care in such an environment.

  1. Conciliation biology: the eco-evolutionary management of permanently invaded biotic systems

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P

    2011-01-01

    Biotic invaders and similar anthropogenic novelties such as domesticates, transgenics, and cancers can alter ecology and evolution in environmental, agricultural, natural resource, public health, and medical systems. The resulting biological changes may either hinder or serve management objectives. For example, biological control and eradication programs are often defeated by unanticipated resistance evolution and by irreversibility of invader impacts. Moreover, eradication may be ill-advised when nonnatives introduce beneficial functions. Thus, contexts that appear to call for eradication may instead demand managed coexistence of natives with nonnatives, and yet applied biologists have not generally considered the need to manage the eco-evolutionary dynamics that commonly result from interactions of natives with nonnatives. Here, I advocate a conciliatory approach to managing systems where novel organisms cannot or should not be eradicated. Conciliatory strategies incorporate benefits of nonnatives to address many practical needs including slowing rates of resistance evolution, promoting evolution of indigenous biological control, cultivating replacement services and novel functions, and managing native–nonnative coevolution. Evolutionary links across disciplines foster cohesion essential for managing the broad impacts of novel biotic systems. Rather than signaling defeat, conciliation biology thus utilizes the predictive power of evolutionary theory to offer diverse and flexible pathways to more sustainable outcomes. PMID:25567967

  2. The Cell Biology of the Endocytic System from an Evolutionary Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Wideman, Jeremy G.; Leung, Ka Fai; Field, Mark C.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary cell biology can afford an interdisciplinary comparative view that gives insights into both the functioning of modern cells and the origins of cellular systems, including the endocytic organelles. Here, we explore several recent evolutionary cell biology studies, highlighting investigations into the origin and diversity of endocytic systems in eukaryotes. Beginning with a brief overview of the eukaryote tree of life, we show how understanding the endocytic machinery in a select, but diverse, array of organisms provides insights into endocytic system origins and predicts the likely configuration in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Next, we consider three examples in which a comparative approach yielded insight into the function of modern cellular systems. First, using ESCRT-0 as an example, we show how comparative cell biology can discover both lineage-specific novelties (ESCRT-0) as well as previously ignored ancient proteins (Tom1), likely of both evolutionary and functional importance. Second, we highlight the power of comparative cell biology for discovery of previously ignored but potentially ancient complexes (AP5). Finally, using examples from ciliates and trypanosomes, we show that not all organisms possess canonical endocytic pathways, but instead likely evolved lineage-specific mechanisms. Drawing from these case studies, we conclude that a comparative approach is a powerful strategy for advancing knowledge about the general mechanisms and functions of endocytic systems. PMID:24478384

  3. The cell biology of the endocytic system from an evolutionary perspective.

    PubMed

    Wideman, Jeremy G; Leung, Ka Fai; Field, Mark C; Dacks, Joel B

    2014-04-01

    Evolutionary cell biology can afford an interdisciplinary comparative view that gives insights into both the functioning of modern cells and the origins of cellular systems, including the endocytic organelles. Here, we explore several recent evolutionary cell biology studies, highlighting investigations into the origin and diversity of endocytic systems in eukaryotes. Beginning with a brief overview of the eukaryote tree of life, we show how understanding the endocytic machinery in a select, but diverse, array of organisms provides insights into endocytic system origins and predicts the likely configuration in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Next, we consider three examples in which a comparative approach yielded insight into the function of modern cellular systems. First, using ESCRT-0 as an example, we show how comparative cell biology can discover both lineage-specific novelties (ESCRT-0) as well as previously ignored ancient proteins (Tom1), likely of both evolutionary and functional importance. Second, we highlight the power of comparative cell biology for discovery of previously ignored but potentially ancient complexes (AP5). Finally, using examples from ciliates and trypanosomes, we show that not all organisms possess canonical endocytic pathways, but instead likely evolved lineage-specific mechanisms. Drawing from these case studies, we conclude that a comparative approach is a powerful strategy for advancing knowledge about the general mechanisms and functions of endocytic systems.

  4. Making developmental biology relevant to undergraduates in an era of economic rationalism in Australia.

    PubMed

    Key, Brian; Nurcombe, Victor

    2003-01-01

    This report describes the road map we followed at our university to accommodate three main factors: financial pressure within the university system; desire to enhance the learning experience of undergraduates; and motivation to increase the prominence of the discipline of developmental biology in our university. We engineered a novel, multi-year undergraduate developmental biology program which was "student-oriented," ensuring that students were continually exposed to the underlying principles and philosophy of this discipline throughout their undergraduate career. Among its key features are introductory lectures in core courses in the first year, which emphasize the relevance of developmental biology to tissue engineering, reproductive medicine, therapeutic approaches in medicine, agriculture and aquaculture. State-of-the-art animated computer graphics and images of high visual impact are also used. In addition, students are streamed into the developmental biology track in the second year, using courses like human embryology and courses shared with cell biology, which include practicals based on modern experimental approaches. Finally, fully dedicated third-year courses in developmental biology are undertaken in conjunction with stand-alone practical courses where students experiencefirst-hand work in a research laboratory. Our philosophy is a "cradle-to-grave" approach to the education of undergraduates so as to prepare highly motivated, enthusiastic and well-educated developmental biologists for entry into graduate programs and ultimately post-doctoral research.

  5. Evidence for rapid evolutionary change in an invasive plant in response to biological control.

    PubMed

    Stastny, M; Sargent, R D

    2017-05-01

    We present evidence that populations of an invasive plant species that have become re-associated with a specialist herbivore in the exotic range through biological control have rapidly evolved increased antiherbivore defences compared to populations not exposed to biocontrol. We grew half-sib families of the invasive plant Lythrum salicaria sourced from 17 populations near Ottawa, Canada, that differed in their history of exposure to a biocontrol agent, the specialist beetle Neogalerucella calmariensis. In a glasshouse experiment, we manipulated larval and adult herbivory to examine whether a population's history of biocontrol influenced plant defence and growth. Plants sourced from populations with a history of biocontrol suffered lower defoliation than naïve, previously unexposed populations, strongly suggesting they had evolved higher resistance. Plants from biocontrol-exposed populations were also larger and produced more branches in response to herbivory, regrew faster even in the absence of herbivory and were better at compensating for the impacts of herbivory on growth (i.e. they exhibited increased tolerance). Furthermore, resistance and tolerance were positively correlated among genotypes with a history of biocontrol but not among naïve genotypes. Our findings suggest that biocontrol can rapidly select for increased defences in an invasive plant and may favour a mixed defence strategy of resistance and tolerance without an obvious cost to plant vigour. Although rarely studied, such evolutionary responses in the target species have important implications for the long-term efficacy of biocontrol programmes. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. Plant Developmental Biology in Spain: from the origins to our days and prospects for the future.

    PubMed

    Beltrán, José-Pío

    2009-01-01

    The origins of modern Plant Developmental Biology in Spain can be traced back to a handful of scientists settled in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla, who devoted themselves to plant biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, and also to Drosophila developmental biology, which influenced, often unintentionally, the pioneers of this field. To reach the present day situation, the experience acquired in centres abroad has also been important, especially in plant research institutes in the USA, Germany (Max-Planck Institute für Züchtungsforschung) and United Kingdom (John Innes Centre). The contributions of Spanish scientists to the advancement of Plant Developmental Biology appears to be imbalanced towards reproductive biology, although relevant publications have also been reported on embryogenesis and seed development, shoot branching, tuberization, vascular morphogenesis, leaf development, regulation of development by light, signal transduction and hormone action and the connection between growth and development. Plant Developmental Biology in Spain is going through a flourishing time, with its future being highly dependent on i) appropriate funding conditions to its young scientists, ii) the opening of new areas of research, iii) the incorporation of technological breakthroughs into laboratories and iv) the carrying out of cooperative research by means of networking. Currently, besides many Departments of the Spanish universities, several centres in which competitive research in plant Developmental Biology can be accomplished, exist: the CNB and CBGP in Madrid, the LGMV CSIC-IRTA in Barcelona, the IBMCP CSIC-UPV, in Valencia and the IBVF CSIC-USE in Sevilla. Let's go for more!

  7. Can systems biology help to separate evolutionary analogies (convergent homoplasies) from homologies?

    PubMed

    Gordon, Malcolm S; Notar, Julia C

    2015-01-01

    Convergent evolutionary analogies (homoplasies) of many kinds occur in diverse phylogenetic clades/lineages on both the animal and plant branches of the Tree of Life. Living organisms whose last common ancestors lived millions to hundreds of millions of years ago have later converged morphologically, behaviorally or at other levels of functionality (from molecular genetics through biochemistry, physiology and other organismic processes) as a result of long term strong natural selection that has constrained and channeled evolutionary processes. This happens most often when organisms belonging to different clades occupy ecological niches, habitats or environments sharing major characteristics that select for a relatively narrow range of organismic properties. Systems biology, broadly defined, provides theoretical and methodological approaches that are beginning to make it possible to answer a perennial evolutionary biological question relating to convergent homoplasies: Are at least some of the apparent analogies actually unrecognized homologies? This review provides an overview of the current state of knowledge of important aspects of this topic area. It also provides a resource describing many homoplasies that may be fruitful subjects for systems biological research.

  8. Developmental perspectives on personality: implications for ecological and evolutionary studies of individual differences

    PubMed Central

    Stamps, Judy A.; Groothuis, Ton G. G.

    2010-01-01

    Developmental processes can have major impacts on the correlations in behaviour across contexts (contextual generality) and across time (temporal consistency) that are the hallmarks of animal personality. Personality can and does change: at any given age or life stage it is contingent upon a wide range of experiential factors that occurred earlier in life, from prior to conception through adulthood. We show how developmental reaction norms that describe the effects of prior experience on a given behaviour can be used to determine whether the effects of a given experience at a given age will affect contextual generality at a later age, and to illustrate how variation within individuals in developmental plasticity leads to variation in contextual generality across individuals as a function of experience. We also show why niche-picking and niche-construction, behavioural processes which allow individuals to affect their own developmental environment, can affect the contextual generality and the temporal consistency of personality. We conclude by discussing how an appreciation of developmental processes can alert behavioural ecologists studying animal personality to critical, untested assumptions that underlie their own research programmes, and outline situations in which a developmental perspective can improve studies of the functional significance and evolution of animal personality. PMID:21078655

  9. Developmental perspectives on personality: implications for ecological and evolutionary studies of individual differences.

    PubMed

    Stamps, Judy A; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2010-12-27

    Developmental processes can have major impacts on the correlations in behaviour across contexts (contextual generality) and across time (temporal consistency) that are the hallmarks of animal personality. Personality can and does change: at any given age or life stage it is contingent upon a wide range of experiential factors that occurred earlier in life, from prior to conception through adulthood. We show how developmental reaction norms that describe the effects of prior experience on a given behaviour can be used to determine whether the effects of a given experience at a given age will affect contextual generality at a later age, and to illustrate how variation within individuals in developmental plasticity leads to variation in contextual generality across individuals as a function of experience. We also show why niche-picking and niche-construction, behavioural processes which allow individuals to affect their own developmental environment, can affect the contextual generality and the temporal consistency of personality. We conclude by discussing how an appreciation of developmental processes can alert behavioural ecologists studying animal personality to critical, untested assumptions that underlie their own research programmes, and outline situations in which a developmental perspective can improve studies of the functional significance and evolution of animal personality.

  10. Assessing the prospects for a return of organisms in evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Huneman, Philippe

    2010-01-01

    An argument has been raised from various perspectives against the Modern Synthesis (MS) in the past two decades: it has forgotten organisms. Niche construction theorists (Odling-Smee et al. 2003), developmental biologists like West-Eberhard (2003) and Evo-Devo elaborated various views which concur on a rehabilitation of the explanatory role of organisms, formerly neglected by an evolutionary science mostly centered on genes. This paper aims at assessing such criticisms by unraveling the specific arguments they use and evaluating how empirical findings may support them. In the first section, I review the usual critiques about the way MS treats organisms and show that the organisms-concerned critique is multifaceted, and I use the controversy about units of selection in order to show that purely conceptual and empirical arguments have been mixed up when organisms were concerned. In the second section, I consider successively the challenges raised to evolutionary MS by structuralist biologists and then the developmentalist challenge mostly raised by Evo-Devo. I distinguish what is purely conceptual among those criticisms and what mostly relies on recent empirical findings about genome activation, inheritance, and epigenetics. The last section discusses another program in MS, namely "evolutionary transitions" research, as enquiry into the emergence of organisms.

  11. The Comet Cometh: Evolving Developmental Systems.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Johannes; Laubichler, Manfred; Callebaut, Werner

    In a recent opinion piece, Denis Duboule has claimed that the increasing shift towards systems biology is driving evolutionary and developmental biology apart, and that a true reunification of these two disciplines within the framework of evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) may easily take another 100 years. He identifies methodological, epistemological, and social differences as causes for this supposed separation. Our article provides a contrasting view. We argue that Duboule's prediction is based on a one-sided understanding of systems biology as a science that is only interested in functional, not evolutionary, aspects of biological processes. Instead, we propose a research program for an evolutionary systems biology, which is based on local exploration of the configuration space in evolving developmental systems. We call this approach-which is based on reverse engineering, simulation, and mathematical analysis-the natural history of configuration space. We discuss a number of illustrative examples that demonstrate the past success of local exploration, as opposed to global mapping, in different biological contexts. We argue that this pragmatic mode of inquiry can be extended and applied to the mathematical analysis of the developmental repertoire and evolutionary potential of evolving developmental mechanisms and that evolutionary systems biology so conceived provides a pragmatic epistemological framework for the EvoDevo synthesis.

  12. Developmental biology of Cystoisospora (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) monozoic tissue cysts

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tissue cyst stages are an intriguing aspect of the developmental cycle and transmission of members of the Family Sarcocystidae. Tissue cyst stages of the genera Toxoplasma, Hammondia, Neospora, Besnoitia, and Sarcocystis contain many infectious stages (bradyzoites).The tissue cyst stage of Cystoisos...

  13. Developmental Plasticity in Children: The Role of Biological Risk, Development, Time, and Reserve.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennis, Maureen

    2000-01-01

    This article discusses newer views of functional developmental plasticity occurring after biological insults to the developing central nervous system (CNS), including concepts of neurobehavioral outcome and ways to measure it, biological risk, age and development at onset of CNS insult, time since onset of CNS insult, and reserve. (Contains…

  14. A small great history of the sister Societies of Developmental Biology in Spain and Portugal.

    PubMed

    Palmeirim, Isabel; Aréchaga, Juan

    2009-01-01

    We revise the historical evolution of the societies devoted to Developmental Biology from the early activities of the Institut International dEmbryologie (IIE), founded in 1911, with particular emphasis on the more recent constitution of the Spanish Sociedad Española de Biología del Desarrollo (SEBD), founded in 1994, and the Portuguese Sociedade Portuguesa de Biologia do Desenvolvimento (SPBD), founded in 2006. We also describe the role played by The International Journal of Developmental Biology (IJDB) in the constitution of the SEBD and its projection and support to international Developmental Biology societies and individual researchers in the world, according to its mission to be a non-for-profit publication for scientists, by scientists.

  15. The Nestor Effect: Extending Evolutionary Developmental Psychology to a Lifespan Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greve, Werner; Bjorklund, David F.

    2009-01-01

    We extend an evolutionary perspective of development to the lifespan, proposing that human longevity may be related to the experience, knowledge, and wisdom provided by older members of human groups. In addition to the assistance in childcare provided by grandmothers to their daughters, the experience of wise elders could have served to benefit…

  16. The Nestor Effect: Extending Evolutionary Developmental Psychology to a Lifespan Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greve, Werner; Bjorklund, David F.

    2009-01-01

    We extend an evolutionary perspective of development to the lifespan, proposing that human longevity may be related to the experience, knowledge, and wisdom provided by older members of human groups. In addition to the assistance in childcare provided by grandmothers to their daughters, the experience of wise elders could have served to benefit…

  17. How can we estimate natural selection on endocrine traits? Lessons from evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Bonier, Frances; Martin, Paul R

    2016-11-30

    An evolutionary perspective can enrich almost any endeavour in biology, providing a deeper understanding of the variation we see in nature. To this end, evolutionary endocrinologists seek to describe the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits. Much of the recent work in our field, however, follows a flawed approach to the study of how selection shapes endocrine traits. Briefly, this approach relies on among-individual correlations between endocrine phenotypes (often circulating hormone levels) and fitness metrics to estimate selection on those endocrine traits. Adaptive plasticity in both endocrine and fitness-related traits can drive these correlations, generating patterns that do not accurately reflect natural selection. We illustrate why this approach to studying selection on endocrine traits is problematic, referring to work from evolutionary biologists who, decades ago, described this problem as it relates to a variety of other plastic traits. We extend these arguments to evolutionary endocrinology, where the likelihood that this flaw generates bias in estimates of selection is unusually high due to the exceptional responsiveness of hormones to environmental conditions, and their function to induce adaptive life-history responses to environmental variation. We end with a review of productive approaches for investigating the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits that we expect will generate exciting advances in our understanding of endocrine system evolution.

  18. How can we estimate natural selection on endocrine traits? Lessons from evolutionary biology

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    An evolutionary perspective can enrich almost any endeavour in biology, providing a deeper understanding of the variation we see in nature. To this end, evolutionary endocrinologists seek to describe the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits. Much of the recent work in our field, however, follows a flawed approach to the study of how selection shapes endocrine traits. Briefly, this approach relies on among-individual correlations between endocrine phenotypes (often circulating hormone levels) and fitness metrics to estimate selection on those endocrine traits. Adaptive plasticity in both endocrine and fitness-related traits can drive these correlations, generating patterns that do not accurately reflect natural selection. We illustrate why this approach to studying selection on endocrine traits is problematic, referring to work from evolutionary biologists who, decades ago, described this problem as it relates to a variety of other plastic traits. We extend these arguments to evolutionary endocrinology, where the likelihood that this flaw generates bias in estimates of selection is unusually high due to the exceptional responsiveness of hormones to environmental conditions, and their function to induce adaptive life-history responses to environmental variation. We end with a review of productive approaches for investigating the fitness consequences of variation in endocrine traits that we expect will generate exciting advances in our understanding of endocrine system evolution. PMID:27881753

  19. An Evolutionary Approach to the Biological Management of Invasive Brown Treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) on Guam

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-03-14

    the developmental stages in our blood smears, combined with the observation that no schizonts (i.e. cells undergoing a form of asexual reproduction ...attract, repel, or disrupt the reproductive biology of the snakes (Savarie and Bruggers 1999, Greene and Mason 2003), interception of snakes using...protocols (Gardner et al. 2012), we harvested parasites from all snakes the morning following capture – weight, snout-vent length, sex, reproductive

  20. Polarized Light Microscopy in Reproductive and Developmental Biology

    PubMed Central

    KOIKE-TANI, MAKI; TANI, TOMOMI; MEHTA, SHALIN B.; VERMA, AMITABH; OLDENBOURG, RUDOLF

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY The polarized light microscope reveals orientational order in native molecular structures inside living cells, tissues, and whole organisms. It is a powerful tool used to monitor and analyze the early developmental stages of organisms that lend themselves to microscopic observations. In this article, we briefly discuss the components specific to a traditional polarizing microscope and some historically important observations on: chromosome packing in the sperm head, the first zygote division of the sea urchin, and differentiation initiated by the first asymmetric cell division in the sand dollar. We then introduce the LC-PolScope and describe its use for measuring birefringence and polarized fluorescence in living cells and tissues. Applications range from the enucleation of mouse oocytes to analyzing the polarized fluorescence of the water strider acrosome. We end with new results on the birefringence of the developing chick brain, which we analyzed between developmental stages of days 12–20. PMID:23901032

  1. Two Decades of Ascidian Developmental Biology: A Personal Research Story.

    PubMed

    Satoh, Noriyuki

    2016-01-01

    Ascidians are the closest relatives of vertebrates. Their utility in experimental embryology has been well recognized because of their simple mode of embryogenesis to form tadpole larvae with a basal chordate body plan. Approximately two decades of research, including decoding of the Ciona genome, have promoted ascidians as one of the best systems for exploring genome-wide mechanisms of developmental transcriptional control and chordate evolution.

  2. Hard to Swallow: Developmental Biological Insights into Pediatric Dysphagia

    PubMed Central

    LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel; Moody, Sally A.; Maynard, Thomas M.; Karpinski, Beverly A.; Zohn, Irene E.; Mendelowitz, David; Lee, Norman H.; Popratiloff, Anastas

    2015-01-01

    Pediatric dysphagia—feeding and swallowing difficulties that begin at birth, last throughout childhood, and continue into maturity—is one of the most common, least understood complications in children with developmental disorders. We argue that a major cause of pediatric dysphagia is altered hindbrain patterning during pre-natal development. Such changes can compromise craniofacial structures including oropharyngeal muscles and skeletal elements as well as motor and sensory circuits necessary for normal feeding and swallowing. Animal models of developmental disorders that include pediatric dysphagia in their phenotypic spectrum can provide mechanistic insight into pathogenesis of feeding and swallowing difficulties. A fairly common human genetic developmental disorder, DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) includes a substantial incidence of pediatric dysphagia in its phenotypic spectrum. Infant mice carrying a parallel deletion to 22q11DS patients have feeding and swallowing difficulties. Altered hindbrain patterning, neural crest migration, craniofacial malformations, and changes in cranial nerve growth prefigure these difficulties. Thus, in addition to craniofacial and pharyngeal anomalies that arise independently of altered neural development, pediatric dysphagia may reflect disrupted hindbrain patterning and its impact on neural circuit development critical for feeding and swallowing. The mechanisms that disrupt hindbrain patterning and circuitry may provide a foundation to develop novel therapeutic approaches for improved clinical management of pediatric dysphagia. PMID:26554723

  3. Hard to swallow: Developmental biological insights into pediatric dysphagia.

    PubMed

    LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel; Moody, Sally A; Maynard, Thomas M; Karpinski, Beverly A; Zohn, Irene E; Mendelowitz, David; Lee, Norman H; Popratiloff, Anastas

    2016-01-15

    Pediatric dysphagia-feeding and swallowing difficulties that begin at birth, last throughout childhood, and continue into maturity--is one of the most common, least understood complications in children with developmental disorders. We argue that a major cause of pediatric dysphagia is altered hindbrain patterning during pre-natal development. Such changes can compromise craniofacial structures including oropharyngeal muscles and skeletal elements as well as motor and sensory circuits necessary for normal feeding and swallowing. Animal models of developmental disorders that include pediatric dysphagia in their phenotypic spectrum can provide mechanistic insight into pathogenesis of feeding and swallowing difficulties. A fairly common human genetic developmental disorder, DiGeorge/22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11DS) includes a substantial incidence of pediatric dysphagia in its phenotypic spectrum. Infant mice carrying a parallel deletion to 22q11DS patients have feeding and swallowing difficulties that approximate those seen in pediatric dysphagia. Altered hindbrain patterning, craniofacial malformations, and changes in cranial nerve growth prefigure these difficulties. Thus, in addition to craniofacial and pharyngeal anomalies that arise independently of altered neural development, pediatric dysphagia may result from disrupted hindbrain patterning and its impact on peripheral and central neural circuit development critical for feeding and swallowing. The mechanisms that disrupt hindbrain patterning and circuitry may provide a foundation to develop novel therapeutic approaches for improved clinical management of pediatric dysphagia. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. The Design and Transformation of Biofundamentals: A Nonsurvey Introductory Evolutionary and Molecular Biology Course.

    PubMed

    Klymkowsky, Michael W; Rentsch, Jeremy D; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M

    2016-01-01

    Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students' ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the expense of the development of a meaningful framework within which to consider biological phenomena. About a decade ago, we began a reconsideration of what an introductory course should present to students and the skills they need to master. The original Web-based course's design presaged many of the recommendations of the Vision and Change report; in particular, a focus on social evolutionary mechanisms, stochastic (evolutionary and molecular) processes, and core ideas (cellular continuity, evolutionary homology, molecular interactions, coupled chemical reactions, and molecular machines). Inspired by insights from the Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything general chemistry project, we transformed the original Web version into a (freely available) book with a more unified narrative flow and a set of formative assessments delivered through the beSocratic system. We outline how student responses to course materials are guiding future course modifications, in particular a more concerted effort at helping students to construct logical, empirically based arguments, explanations, and models.

  5. The Design and Transformation of Biofundamentals: A Nonsurvey Introductory Evolutionary and Molecular Biology Course

    PubMed Central

    Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Rentsch, Jeremy D.; Begovic, Emina; Cooper, Melanie M.

    2016-01-01

    Many introductory biology courses amount to superficial surveys of disconnected topics. Often, foundational observations and the concepts derived from them and students’ ability to use these ideas appropriately are overlooked, leading to unrealistic expectations and unrecognized learning obstacles. The result can be a focus on memorization at the expense of the development of a meaningful framework within which to consider biological phenomena. About a decade ago, we began a reconsideration of what an introductory course should present to students and the skills they need to master. The original Web-based course’s design presaged many of the recommendations of the Vision and Change report; in particular, a focus on social evolutionary mechanisms, stochastic (evolutionary and molecular) processes, and core ideas (cellular continuity, evolutionary homology, molecular interactions, coupled chemical reactions, and molecular machines). Inspired by insights from the Chemistry, Life, the Universe & Everything general chemistry project, we transformed the original Web version into a (freely available) book with a more unified narrative flow and a set of formative assessments delivered through the beSocratic system. We outline how student responses to course materials are guiding future course modifications, in particular a more concerted effort at helping students to construct logical, empirically based arguments, explanations, and models. PMID:27909020

  6. What will result from the interaction between functional and evolutionary biology?

    PubMed

    Morange, Michel

    2011-03-01

    The modern synthesis has been considered to be wrongly called a "synthesis", since it had completely excluded embryology, and many other disciplines. The recent developments of Evo-Devo have been seen as a step in the right direction, as complementing the modern synthesis, and probably leading to a "new synthesis". My argument is that the absence of embryology from the modern synthesis was the visible sign of a more profound lack: the absence of functional biology in the evolutionary synthesis. I will consider the reasons for this absence, as well as the recent transformations which favoured a closer interaction between these two branches of biology. Then I will describe two examples of recent work in which functional and evolutionary questioning were tightly linked. The most significant part of the paper will be devoted to the transformation of evolutionary theory that can be expected from this encounter: a deep transformation, or simply an experimental confirmation of this theory? I will not choose between these two different possibilities, but will discuss some of the difficulties which make the choice problematic.

  7. Biochemistry and physiology within the framework of the extended synthesis of evolutionary biology.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Angelo; Passamonti, Sabina

    2016-02-09

    Functional biologists, like Claude Bernard, ask "How?", meaning that they investigate the mechanisms underlying the emergence of biological functions (proximal causes), while evolutionary biologists, like Charles Darwin, asks "Why?", meaning that they search the causes of adaptation, survival and evolution (remote causes). Are these divergent views on what is life? The epistemological role of functional biology (molecular biology, but also biochemistry, physiology, cell biology and so forth) appears essential, for its capacity to identify several mechanisms of natural selection of new characters, individuals and populations. Nevertheless, several issues remain unsolved, such as orphan metabolic activities, i.e., adaptive functions still missing the identification of the underlying genes and proteins, and orphan genes, i.e., genes that bear no signature of evolutionary history, yet provide an organism with improved adaptation to environmental changes. In the framework of the Extended Synthesis, we suggest that the adaptive roles of any known function/structure are reappraised in terms of their capacity to warrant constancy of the internal environment (homeostasis), a concept that encompasses both proximal and remote causes.

  8. Virtual Tissues and Developmental Systems Biology (book chapter)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Virtual tissue (VT) models provide an in silico environment to simulate cross-scale properties in specific tissues or organs based on knowledge of the underlying biological networks. These integrative models capture the fundamental interactions in a biological system and enable ...

  9. Virtual Tissues and Developmental Systems Biology (book chapter)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Virtual tissue (VT) models provide an in silico environment to simulate cross-scale properties in specific tissues or organs based on knowledge of the underlying biological networks. These integrative models capture the fundamental interactions in a biological system and enable ...

  10. Developmental plasticity in Protea as an evolutionary response to environmental clines in the Cape Floristic Region.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Jane E; Holsinger, Kent E

    2012-01-01

    Local adaptation along steep environmental gradients likely contributes to plant diversity in the Cape Region of South Africa, yet existing analyses of trait divergence are limited to static measurements of functional traits rather than trajectories of individual development. We explore whether five taxa of evergreen shrubs (Protea section Exsertae) differ in their developmental trajectories and capacity for plasticity using two environmentally-distinct common gardens in South Africa. We measured seedlings in the summer-dry season and winter-wet season of each of two consecutive years to characterize ontogeny and plasticity within years, as same-age leaf cohorts mature, and between years, i.e., from leaf one cohort to the next. We compared patterns of development between gardens to assess whether trait trajectories are programmed versus plastic and examined whether developmental differences covaried with characteristics of a seedling's home environment. We detected plasticity in developmental trajectories for leaf area, stomatal size, stomatal pore index, and to a limited extent specific leaf area, but not for stomatal density. We showed that the species growing in the harshest environments exhibits both the smallest increase in leaf area between years and the least change in SLA and photosynthetic rates as leaves age within years. These results show that within this clade, species have diverged in developmental trajectories and plasticity as well as in mean trait values. Some of these differences may be associated with adaptation to cold and drought stress within an environmentally-complex region.

  11. Developmental Plasticity in Protea as an Evolutionary Response to Environmental Clines in the Cape Floristic Region

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Jane E.; Holsinger, Kent E.

    2012-01-01

    Local adaptation along steep environmental gradients likely contributes to plant diversity in the Cape Region of South Africa, yet existing analyses of trait divergence are limited to static measurements of functional traits rather than trajectories of individual development. We explore whether five taxa of evergreen shrubs (Protea section Exsertae) differ in their developmental trajectories and capacity for plasticity using two environmentally-distinct common gardens in South Africa. We measured seedlings in the summer-dry season and winter-wet season of each of two consecutive years to characterize ontogeny and plasticity within years, as same-age leaf cohorts mature, and between years, i.e., from leaf one cohort to the next. We compared patterns of development between gardens to assess whether trait trajectories are programmed versus plastic and examined whether developmental differences covaried with characteristics of a seedling’s home environment. We detected plasticity in developmental trajectories for leaf area, stomatal size, stomatal pore index, and to a limited extent specific leaf area, but not for stomatal density. We showed that the species growing in the harshest environments exhibits both the smallest increase in leaf area between years and the least change in SLA and photosynthetic rates as leaves age within years. These results show that within this clade, species have diverged in developmental trajectories and plasticity as well as in mean trait values. Some of these differences may be associated with adaptation to cold and drought stress within an environmentally-complex region. PMID:23272203

  12. The society for craniofacial genetics and developmental biology 38th annual meeting.

    PubMed

    Taneyhill, Lisa A; Hoover-Fong, Julie; Lozanoff, Scott; Marcucio, Ralph; Richtsmeier, Joan T; Trainor, Paul A

    2016-07-01

    The mission of the Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB) is to promote education, research, and communication about normal and abnormal development of the tissues and organs of the head. The SCGDB welcomes as members undergraduate students, graduate students, post doctoral researchers, clinicians, orthodontists, scientists, and academicians who share an interest in craniofacial biology. Each year our members come together to share their novel findings, build upon, and challenge current knowledge of craniofacial biology. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Developmental plasticity, genetic assimilation, and the evolutionary diversification of sexual expression in Solanum.

    PubMed

    Diggle, Pamela K; Miller, Jill S

    2013-06-01

    For over a century, it has been hypothesized that selection can convert an environmentally induced phenotype (i.e., plasticity) into a fixed (constitutively produced) phenotype, a process known as genetic assimilation. While evidence of assimilation is accumulating, the role of plasticity generally and assimilation specifically in evolutionary diversification has rarely been examined from a comparative phylogenetic perspective. • We combined experimental analyses of plasticity with ancestral state reconstructions to examine the evolutionary dynamics of sexual expression in two well-characterized sections (Acanthophora and Lasiocarpa) in Solanum subgenus Leptostemonum. We examined sexual expression phenotypes and the proportion of staminate flowers produced under contrasting resource conditions in 10 species and combined these data with previous studies. • Staminate flower production was phenotypically plastic for nine of 14 species and unaffected by treatment in five species. Two of the nonplastic species bore few staminate flowers, and three constitutively produced large numbers of staminate flowers. For individuals and species producing staminate flowers, these flowers occurred in a distinctive architectural pattern that was qualitatively the same in both plastic and nonplastic species. Parsimony and Bayesian reconstructions demonstrate that plasticity is ancestral among the species studied. • Plasticity has been lost independently in sections Acanthophora and Lasiocarpa, and the consequence of its loss results in evolutionary diversification of sexual expression. In section Acanthophora, loss of plasticity represents a reversion to production of predominantly hermaphroditic flowers. In contrast, the fixed production of staminate flowers in Lasiocarpa has the hallmarks of evolution via genetic assimilation.

  14. Evolutionary and developmental changes in the lateral frontoparietal network: a little goes a long way for higher-level cognition.

    PubMed

    Vendetti, Michael S; Bunge, Silvia A

    2014-12-03

    Relational thinking, or the ability to represent the relations between items, is widespread in the animal kingdom. However, humans are unparalleled in their ability to engage in the higher-order relational thinking required for reasoning and other forms of abstract thought. Here we propose that the versatile reasoning skills observed in humans can be traced back to developmental and evolutionary changes in the lateral frontoparietal network (LFPN). We first identify the regions within the LFPN that are most strongly linked to relational thinking, and show that stronger communication between these regions over the course of development supports improvements in relational reasoning. We then explore differences in the LFPN between humans and other primate species that could explain species differences in the capacity for relational reasoning. We conclude that fairly small neuroanatomical changes in specific regions of the LFPN and their connections have led to big ontogenetic and phylogenetic changes in cognition.

  15. On the evolutionary origins of life-course persistent offending: a theoretical scaffold for Moffitt's developmental taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Boutwell, Brian B; Barnes, J C; Deaton, Raelynn; Beaver, Kevin M

    2013-04-07

    The study of human crime and violence represents a flashpoint for discussion across academia. Multiple theories exist pertaining to the topic, all aimed at organizing numerous findings surrounding correlates of antisocial behavior. Along these lines, Moffitt's developmental taxonomy has emerged as a theory well supported by empirical research. Noticeably absent, though, has been an effort to apply an evolutionary framework to Moffitt's dual taxonomy of offending. With this in mind, the current study is intended to examine Moffitt's different typologies in the context of Rushton's Differential K theory (an adaptation of r-K selection from life history theory). Our findings suggest that life-course persistent offending may represent a viable reproductive strategy characterized by higher levels of sexual involvement over the life-course. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecological developmental biology: environmental signals for normal animal development.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Scott F

    2012-01-01

    The environment plays instructive roles in development and selective roles in evolution. This essay reviews several of the instructive roles whereby the organism has evolved to receive cues from the environment in order to modulate its developmental trajectory. The environmental cues can be abiotic (such as temperature or photoperiod) or biotic (such as those emanating from predators, conspecifics, or food), and the "alteration" produces a normal, not a pathological, phenotype, that is appropriate for the environment. In addition, symbiotic organisms can produce important signals during normal development. Environmental cues can be obligatory, such that the organism cannot develop without the environmental cue. These cues often permit and instruct the organism to proceed from one developmental stage to another, as when larvae receive cues to settle and undergo metamorphosis from substrates. Such obligatory cues can also be given by symbionts, as when Wolbachia bacteria prevent apoptosis in developing ovaries of some wasps. Other environmental cues can be used facultatively, allowing organisms to follow different developmental trajectories depending on whether the cue is present or not. This can be seen in the temperature-dependent determination of sex in many reptiles and in the determination of thermotolerance in aphids by their symbiotic bacteria. Signaling from the environment is essential in development, and co-development appears to be normative between symbionts and their hosts. Here, one sees the reciprocal induction of gene expression, just as within the embryonic organism. The ability of organisms to respond to environmental cues by producing different phenotypes may be critically important in evolution, and it may be an essential feature that can facilitate or limit evolution.

  17. Integrating developmental biology and the fossil record of reptiles.

    PubMed

    Skawiński, Tomasz; Tałanda, Mateusz

    2014-01-01

    Numerous new discoveries and new research techniques have influenced our understanding of reptile development from a palaeontological perspective. They suggest for example that transition from mineralized to leathery eggshells and from oviparity to viviparity appeared much more often in the evolution of reptiles than was previously thought. Most marine reptiles evolved from viviparous terrestrial ancestors and had probably genetic sex determination. Fossil forms often display developmental traits absent or rare among modern ones such as polydactyly, hyperphalangy, the presence of ribcage armour, reduction of head ornamentation during ontogeny, extreme modifications of vertebral count or a wide range of feather-like structures. Thus, they provide an empirical background for many morphogenetic considerations.

  18. The evolutionary origin of the vertebrate neural crest and its developmental gene regulatory network--insights from amphioxus.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jr-Kai Sky

    2010-01-01

    The neural crest is an embryonic cell population unique to vertebrates. During vertebrate embryogenesis, neural crest cells are first induced from the neural plate border; subsequently, they delaminate from the dorsal neural tube and migrate to their destination, where they differentiate into a wide variety of derivatives. The emergence of the neural crest is thought to be responsible for the evolution of many complex novel structures of vertebrates that are lacking in invertebrate chordates. Despite its central importance in understanding the origin of vertebrates, the evolutionary origin of the neural crest remains elusive. The basal chordate amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae) occupies an outgroup position that is useful for investigating this question. In this review, I summarize recent genomic and comparative developmental studies between amphioxus and vertebrates and discuss their implications for the evolutionary origin of neural crest cells. I focus mainly on the origin of the gene regulatory network underlying neural crest development, and suggest several hypotheses regarding how this network could have been assembled during early vertebrate evolution.

  19. Sex-Specific Pathways to Early Puberty, Sexual Debut, and Sexual Risk Taking: Tests of an Integrated Evolutionary-Developmental Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Jenee; Ellis, Bruce J.; Schlomer, Gabriel L.; Garber, Judy

    2012-01-01

    The current study tested sex-specific pathways to early puberty, sexual debut, and sexual risk taking, as specified by an integrated evolutionary-developmental model of adolescent sexual development and behavior. In a prospective study of 238 adolescents (n = 129 girls and n = 109 boys) followed from approximately 12-18 years of age, we tested for…

  20. Sex-Specific Pathways to Early Puberty, Sexual Debut, and Sexual Risk Taking: Tests of an Integrated Evolutionary-Developmental Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Jenee; Ellis, Bruce J.; Schlomer, Gabriel L.; Garber, Judy

    2012-01-01

    The current study tested sex-specific pathways to early puberty, sexual debut, and sexual risk taking, as specified by an integrated evolutionary-developmental model of adolescent sexual development and behavior. In a prospective study of 238 adolescents (n = 129 girls and n = 109 boys) followed from approximately 12-18 years of age, we tested for…

  1. Shared developmental and evolutionary origins for neural basis of vocal–acoustic and pectoral–gestural signaling

    PubMed Central

    Bass, Andrew H.; Chagnaud, Boris P.

    2012-01-01

    Acoustic signaling behaviors are widespread among bony vertebrates, which include the majority of living fishes and tetrapods. Developmental studies in sound-producing fishes and tetrapods indicate that central pattern generating networks dedicated to vocalization originate from the same caudal hindbrain rhombomere (rh) 8-spinal compartment. Together, the evidence suggests that vocalization and its morphophysiological basis, including mechanisms of vocal–respiratory coupling that are widespread among tetrapods, are ancestral characters for bony vertebrates. Premotor-motor circuitry for pectoral appendages that function in locomotion and acoustic signaling develops in the same rh8-spinal compartment. Hence, vocal and pectoral phenotypes in fishes share both developmental origins and roles in acoustic communication. These findings lead to the proposal that the coupling of more highly derived vocal and pectoral mechanisms among tetrapods, including those adapted for nonvocal acoustic and gestural signaling, originated in fishes. Comparative studies further show that rh8 premotor populations have distinct neurophysiological properties coding for equally distinct behavioral attributes such as call duration. We conclude that neural network innovations in the spatiotemporal patterning of vocal and pectoral mechanisms of social communication, including forelimb gestural signaling, have their evolutionary origins in the caudal hindbrain of fishes. PMID:22723366

  2. Shared developmental and evolutionary origins for neural basis of vocal-acoustic and pectoral-gestural signaling.

    PubMed

    Bass, Andrew H; Chagnaud, Boris P

    2012-06-26

    Acoustic signaling behaviors are widespread among bony vertebrates, which include the majority of living fishes and tetrapods. Developmental studies in sound-producing fishes and tetrapods indicate that central pattern generating networks dedicated to vocalization originate from the same caudal hindbrain rhombomere (rh) 8-spinal compartment. Together, the evidence suggests that vocalization and its morphophysiological basis, including mechanisms of vocal-respiratory coupling that are widespread among tetrapods, are ancestral characters for bony vertebrates. Premotor-motor circuitry for pectoral appendages that function in locomotion and acoustic signaling develops in the same rh8-spinal compartment. Hence, vocal and pectoral phenotypes in fishes share both developmental origins and roles in acoustic communication. These findings lead to the proposal that the coupling of more highly derived vocal and pectoral mechanisms among tetrapods, including those adapted for nonvocal acoustic and gestural signaling, originated in fishes. Comparative studies further show that rh8 premotor populations have distinct neurophysiological properties coding for equally distinct behavioral attributes such as call duration. We conclude that neural network innovations in the spatiotemporal patterning of vocal and pectoral mechanisms of social communication, including forelimb gestural signaling, have their evolutionary origins in the caudal hindbrain of fishes.

  3. Chromatin diminution in Copepoda (Crustacea): pattern, biological role and evolutionary aspects.

    PubMed

    Grishanin, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    This article provides an overview of research on chromatin diminution (CD) in copepods. The phenomenology, mechanisms and biological role of CD are discussed. A model of CD as an alternative means of regulating cell differentiation is presented. While the vast majority of eukaryotes inactivate genes that are no longer needed in development by heterochromatinization, copepods probably use CD for the same purpose. It is assumed that the copepods have exploited CD as a tool for adaptation to changing environmental conditions and as a mechanism for regulating the rate of evolutionary processes.

  4. Chromatin diminution in Copepoda (Crustacea): pattern, biological role and evolutionary aspects

    PubMed Central

    Grishanin, Andrey

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This article provides an overview of research on chromatin diminution (CD) in copepods. The phenomenology, mechanisms and biological role of CD are discussed. A model of CD as an alternative means of regulating cell differentiation is presented. While the vast majority of eukaryotes inactivate genes that are no longer needed in development by heterochromatinization, copepods probably use CD for the same purpose. It is assumed that the copepods have exploited CD as a tool for adaptation to changing environmental conditions and as a mechanism for regulating the rate of evolutionary processes. PMID:24744830

  5. Developmental therapeutics for inflammatory breast cancer: Biology and translational directions

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Ricardo; Santa-Maria, Cesar A; Rossi, Giovanna; Carneiro, Benedito A; Chae, Young Kwang; Gradishar, William J; Giles, Francis J; Cristofanilli, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, which accounts for approximately 3% of cases of breast malignancies. Diagnosis relies largely on its clinical presentation, and despite a characteristic phenotype, underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Unique clinical presentation indicates that IBC is a distinct clinical and biological entity when compared to non-IBC. Biological understanding of non-IBC has been extrapolated into IBC and targeted therapies for HER2 positive (HER2+) and hormonal receptor positive non-IBC led to improved patient outcomes in the recent years. This manuscript reviews recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of IBC, clinical progress to date and suggests rational approaches for investigational therapies. PMID:27926493

  6. Developmental therapeutics for inflammatory breast cancer: Biology and translational directions.

    PubMed

    Costa, Ricardo; Santa-Maria, Cesar A; Rossi, Giovanna; Carneiro, Benedito A; Chae, Young Kwang; Gradishar, William J; Giles, Francis J; Cristofanilli, Massimo

    2017-02-14

    Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, which accounts for approximately 3% of cases of breast malignancies. Diagnosis relies largely on its clinical presentation, and despite a characteristic phenotype, underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Unique clinical presentation indicates that IBC is a distinct clinical and biological entity when compared to non-IBC. Biological understanding of non-IBC has been extrapolated into IBC and targeted therapies for HER2 positive (HER2+) and hormonal receptor positive non-IBC led to improved patient outcomes in the recent years. This manuscript reviews recent discoveries related to the underlying biology of IBC, clinical progress to date and suggests rational approaches for investigational therapies.

  7. Homology and ontogeny: pattern and process in comparative developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Scholtz, Gerhard

    2005-11-01

    In this article the interface between development and homology is discussed. Development is here interpreted as a sequence of evolutionarily independent stages. Any approach stressing the importance of specific developmental stages is rejected. A homology definition is favoured which includes similarity, and complexity serves as a test for homology. Complexity is seen as the possibility of subdividing a character into evolutionarily independent corresponding substructures. Topology as a test for homology is critically discussed because corresponding positions are not necessarily indicative of homology. Complexity can be used twofold for homology assessments of development: either stages or processes of development are homologized. These two approaches must not be con-flated. This distinction leads to the conclusion that there is no ontogenetic homology "criterion".

  8. Selective plane illumination microscopy techniques in developmental biology

    PubMed Central

    Huisken, Jan; Stainier, Didier Y. R.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and other fluorescence microscopy techniques in which a focused sheet of light serves to illuminate the sample have become increasingly popular in developmental studies. Fluorescence light-sheet microscopy bridges the gap in image quality between fluorescence stereomicroscopy and high-resolution imaging of fixed tissue sections. In addition, high depth penetration, low bleaching and high acquisition speeds make light-sheet microscopy ideally suited for extended time-lapse experiments in live embryos. This review compares the benefits and challenges of light-sheet microscopy with established fluorescence microscopy techniques such as confocal microscopy and discusses the different implementations and applications of this easily adaptable technology. PMID:19465594

  9. The biology of developmental plasticity and the Predictive Adaptive Response hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Bateson, Patrick; Gluckman, Peter; Hanson, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Many forms of developmental plasticity have been observed and these are usually beneficial to the organism. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis refers to a form of developmental plasticity in which cues received in early life influence the development of a phenotype that is normally adapted to the environmental conditions of later life. When the predicted and actual environments differ, the mismatch between the individual's phenotype and the conditions in which it finds itself can have adverse consequences for Darwinian fitness and, later, for health. Numerous examples exist of the long-term effects of cues indicating a threatening environment affecting the subsequent phenotype of the individual organism. Other examples consist of the long-term effects of variations in environment within a normal range, particularly in the individual's nutritional environment. In mammals the cues to developing offspring are often provided by the mother's plane of nutrition, her body composition or stress levels. This hypothetical effect in humans is thought to be important by some scientists and controversial by others. In resolving the conflict, distinctions should be drawn between PARs induced by normative variations in the developmental environment and the ill effects on development of extremes in environment such as a very poor or very rich nutritional environment. Tests to distinguish between different developmental processes impacting on adult characteristics are proposed. Many of the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity involve molecular epigenetic processes, and their elucidation in the context of PARs and more widely has implications for the revision of classical evolutionary theory. PMID:24882817

  10. The biology of developmental plasticity and the Predictive Adaptive Response hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Bateson, Patrick; Gluckman, Peter; Hanson, Mark

    2014-06-01

    Many forms of developmental plasticity have been observed and these are usually beneficial to the organism. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis refers to a form of developmental plasticity in which cues received in early life influence the development of a phenotype that is normally adapted to the environmental conditions of later life. When the predicted and actual environments differ, the mismatch between the individual's phenotype and the conditions in which it finds itself can have adverse consequences for Darwinian fitness and, later, for health. Numerous examples exist of the long-term effects of cues indicating a threatening environment affecting the subsequent phenotype of the individual organism. Other examples consist of the long-term effects of variations in environment within a normal range, particularly in the individual's nutritional environment. In mammals the cues to developing offspring are often provided by the mother's plane of nutrition, her body composition or stress levels. This hypothetical effect in humans is thought to be important by some scientists and controversial by others. In resolving the conflict, distinctions should be drawn between PARs induced by normative variations in the developmental environment and the ill effects on development of extremes in environment such as a very poor or very rich nutritional environment. Tests to distinguish between different developmental processes impacting on adult characteristics are proposed. Many of the mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity involve molecular epigenetic processes, and their elucidation in the context of PARs and more widely has implications for the revision of classical evolutionary theory.

  11. How fruit developmental biology makes use of flow cytometry approaches.

    PubMed

    Pirrello, Julien; Bourdon, Matthieu; Cheniclet, Catherine; Bourge, Mickaël; Brown, Spencer C; Renaudin, Jean-Pierre; Frangne, Nathalie; Chevalier, Christian

    2014-02-01

    Fleshy fruit species such as tomato are important because of their nutritional and economic value. Several stages of fruit development such as ovary formation, fruit set, and fruit maturation have already been the subject of many developmental studies. However, fruit growth per se has been much less addressed. Fruit growth like all plant organs depends upon the developmental processes of cell division and cell expansion. The activity of cell divisions sets the number of cells that will compose the fruit; the cell expansion activity then determines its final size. Among the various mechanisms that may influence the determination of cell size, endopolyploidy by the means of endoreduplication, i.e. genome amplification in the absence of mitosis, appears to be of great importance in fleshy fruits. In tomato fruit, endoreduplication is associated with DNA-dependent cell expansion: cell size can reach spectacular levels such as hundreds of times its initial size (e.g. >0.5 mm in diameter), with as much as a 256-fold increase in nuclear DNA content. Using tomato fruit development as a model, recent investigations combining the use of flow cytometry, cellular imaging and molecular analyses have provided new data in favor of the long-standing karyoplasmic ratio theory, stating that cells tend to adjust their cytoplasmic volume to the nuclear DNA content. By establishing a highly structured cellular system where multiple physiological functions are integrated, endoreduplication acts as a morphogenetic factor supporting cell growth during tomato fruit development. In the context of plant breeding, deciphering the mechanisms controlling fruit growth, in particular those connecting the process of nuclear endoreduplication with modulation of gene expression, the regulation of cell size and final fruit size and composition, is necessary to understand better the establishment of fleshy fruit quality traits. © 2013 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

  12. The cuticular biology in developmental stages of Ascaris suum.

    PubMed

    Fetterer, R H; Hill, D E; Urban, J F

    1990-07-01

    The cuticles from distinct developmental stages of Ascaris suum were isolated by a combination of mechanical disruption and detergent treatment of larvae or by surgical removal of cuticle from adults. Proteins from the isolated cuticles were solubilized with SDS and 2-mercaptoethanol (2ME) and analyzed by PAGE. Cuticular proteins from the third and fourth larval stages (L3 and L4) were comparable to adult, but differences in the number of bands were observed. The soluble proteins from the adult, L3 and L4 were readily degraded by bacterial collagenase, suggesting that these proteins are collagen-like structural elements of the cuticle. The soluble proteins from the L2 differed from the adult and other larval stages in both the number and molecular weight of protein bands and their lack of collagenase sensitivity. Antibodies made against the soluble cuticular proteins reacted with the medial and basal layers of the cuticle but not the external cortical or epicuticular regions. A significant amount of the cuticle was not solubilized by 2ME and was not digested by bacterial collagenase. These insoluble cuticular proteins were probably derived from the epicuticular and external cortical regions of the cuticle. Different developmental stages of A. suum were biotinylated and examined by electron microscopy. An organic soluble biotin reagent labeled all stages in a transcuticular pattern, while an aqueous soluble biotin labeled only the external cortical and epicuticular regions of the L4 and adult cuticle. These data indicate the presence of a hydrophobic barrier in the cuticle of later stages of the parasite.

  13. Developmental dynamics and contemporary evolutionary psychology: status quo or irreconcilable views? Reply to Bjorklund (2003), Krebs (2003), Buss and Reeve (2003), Crawford (2003), and Tooby et Al. (2003).

    PubMed

    Lickliter, Robert; Honeycutt, Hunter

    2003-11-01

    The authors address commentaries by D. F. Bjorklund (2003); D. M. Buss and H. K. Reeve (2003); C. B. Crawford (2003); D. L. Krebs (2003); and J. Tooby, L. Cosmides, and H. C. Barrett (2003) on their analysis of the underlying assumptions of contemporary evolutionary psychology (R. Lickliter & H. Honeycutt, 2003). The authors argue that evolutionary psychology currently offers no coherent framework for how to integrate genetic, environmental, and experiential factors into a theory of behavioral or cognitive phenotypes. The authors propose that this absence is due to a lack of developmental analysis in the major works of evolutionary psychology, resulting in an almost exclusive focus on adaptationist accounts of evolution by natural selection rather than a more broad-based focus on the process and products of evolution by epigenetic developmental dynamics.

  14. Biology and Beyond: Domain Specificity in a Broader Developmental Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keil, Frank C.

    2007-01-01

    The assumption of domain specificity has been invaluable to the study of the emergence of biological thought in young children. Yet, domains of thought must be understood within a broader context that explains how those domains relate to the surrounding cultures, to different kinds of cognitive constraints, to framing effects, to abilities to…

  15. Evolutionary Changes in the Developmental Origin of Hatching Gland Cells in Basal Ray-Finned Fishes.

    PubMed

    Nagasawa, Tatsuki; Kawaguchi, Mari; Yano, Tohru; Sano, Kaori; Okabe, Masataka; Yasumasu, Shigeki

    2016-06-01

    Hatching gland cells (HGCs) originate from different germ layers between frogs and teleosts, although the hatching enzyme genes are orthologous. Teleostei HGCs differentiate in the mesoendodermal cells at the anterior end of the involved hypoblast layer (known as the polster) in late gastrula embryos. Conversely, frog HGCs differentiate in the epidermal cells at the neural plate border in early neurula embryos. To infer the transition in the developmental origin of HGCs, we studied two basal ray-finned fishes, bichir (Polypterus) and sturgeon. We observed expression patterns of their hatching enzyme (HE) and that of three transcription factors that are critical for HGC differentiation: KLF17 is common to both teleosts and frogs; whereas FoxA3 and Pax3 are specific to teleosts and frogs, respectively. We then inferred the transition in the developmental origin of HGCs. In sturgeon, the KLF17, FoxA3, and HE genes were expressed during the tailbud stage in the cell mass at the anterior region of the body axis, a region corresponding to the polster in teleost embryos. In contrast, the bichir was suggested to possess both teleost- and amphibian-type HGCs, i.e. the KLF17 and FoxA3 genes were expressed in the anterior cell mass corresponding to the polster, and the KLF17, Pax3 and HE genes were expressed in dorsal epidermal layer of the head. The change in developmental origin is thought to have occurred during the evolution of basal ray-finned fish, because bichir has two HGCs, while sturgeon only has the teleost-type.

  16. The Urbilateria: Insights From Comparative Developmental Biology Into The Cambrian Radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erwin, D. H.

    2004-12-01

    A critical issue in understanding the patterns of morphological and developmental evolution during the Cambrian radiation of animal body plans is the morphological complexity of the last common ancestor of the two great bilaterian clades, the protostomes and deuterostomes. Often known as the Urbilateria or the protostome-deuterostome ancestor (PDA) this node in metazoan phylogeny distinguishes the sponges and cnidarians from the bilaterian clades. Highly conserved developmental genes and complexes suggests that the PDA was a relatively complex organism, with dorsal-ventral and anterior-posterior patterning, eyes, appendages, heart, central nervous system, segmentation and other relatively complex morphological features. If this view of the PDA is correct, it has important implications for understanding the Cambrian radiation, for such a complex animal is likely to leave traces in the sedimentary record even if it lacked a durable skeleton. However, this interpretation of conserved developmental sequences may overestimate the extent to which homologies of developmental sequences implies morphological conservation. In other words, does the presence of the Nkx 2.5 gene in the PDA necessitate the presence of a heart, or simple the appearance of contractile muscles? If the latter, then the PDA may have been a much less complex organism. This latter view of developmental evolution suggests the PDA possessed a developmental toolkit, but that the specific implementation of these tools in specific body plans occurred after the PDA, within specific clades. Moreover, this view also strongly suggests that changes in the physical environment, or in ecological relationships, was primarily responsible for the evolutionary innovations seen in the Cambrian, rather than developmental innovations.

  17. Biological invasions in agricultural settings: insights from evolutionary biology and population genetics.

    PubMed

    Guillemaud, Thomas; Ciosi, Marc; Lombaert, Eric; Estoup, Arnaud

    2011-03-01

    Invasion biology and agriculture are intimately related for several reasons and in particular because many agricultural pest species are recent invaders. In this article we suggest that the reconstruction of invasion routes with population genetics-based methods can address fundamental questions in ecology and practical aspects of the management of biological invasions in agricultural settings. We provide a brief description of the methods used to reconstruct invasion routes and describe their main characteristics. In particular, we focus on a scenario--the bridgehead invasion scenario --which had been overlooked until recently. We show that this scenario, in which an invasive population is the source of other invasive populations, is evolutionarily parsimonious and may have played a crucial role in shaping the distribution of many recent agricultural pests.

  18. Towards a Population Dynamics Theory for Evolutionary Computing: Learning from Biological Population Dynamics in Nature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Zhanshan (Sam)

    In evolutionary computing (EC), population size is one of the critical parameters that a researcher has to deal with. Hence, it was no surprise that the pioneers of EC, such as De Jong (1975) and Holland (1975), had already studied the population sizing from the very beginning of EC. What is perhaps surprising is that more than three decades later, we still largely depend on the experience or ad-hoc trial-and-error approach to set the population size. For example, in a recent monograph, Eiben and Smith (2003) indicated: "In almost all EC applications, the population size is constant and does not change during the evolutionary search." Despite enormous research on this issue in recent years, we still lack a well accepted theory for population sizing. In this paper, I propose to develop a population dynamics theory forEC with the inspiration from the population dynamics theory of biological populations in nature. Essentially, the EC population is considered as a dynamic system over time (generations) and space (search space or fitness landscape), similar to the spatial and temporal dynamics of biological populations in nature. With this conceptual mapping, I propose to 'transplant' the biological population dynamics theory to EC via three steps: (i) experimentally test the feasibility—whether or not emulating natural population dynamics improves the EC performance; (ii) comparatively study the underlying mechanisms—why there are improvements, primarily via statistical modeling analysis; (iii) conduct theoretical analysis with theoretical models such as percolation theory and extended evolutionary game theory that are generally applicable to both EC and natural populations. This article is a summary of a series of studies we have performed to achieve the general goal [27][30]-[32]. In the following, I start with an extremely brief introduction on the theory and models of natural population dynamics (Sections 1 & 2). In Sections 4 to 6, I briefly discuss three

  19. Evolutionary Interrogation of Human Biology in Well-Annotated Genomic Framework of Rhesus Macaque

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shi-Jian; Liu, Chu-Jun; Yu, Peng; Zhong, Xiaoming; Chen, Jia-Yu; Yang, Xinzhuang; Peng, Jiguang; Yan, Shouyu; Wang, Chenqu; Zhu, Xiaotong; Xiong, Jingwei; Zhang, Yong E.; Tan, Bertrand Chin-Ming; Li, Chuan-Yun

    2014-01-01

    With genome sequence and composition highly analogous to human, rhesus macaque represents a unique reference for evolutionary studies of human biology. Here, we developed a comprehensive genomic framework of rhesus macaque, the RhesusBase2, for evolutionary interrogation of human genes and the associated regulations. A total of 1,667 next-generation sequencing (NGS) data sets were processed, integrated, and evaluated, generating 51.2 million new functional annotation records. With extensive NGS annotations, RhesusBase2 refined the fine-scale structures in 30% of the macaque Ensembl transcripts, reporting an accurate, up-to-date set of macaque gene models. On the basis of these annotations and accurate macaque gene models, we further developed an NGS-oriented Molecular Evolution Gateway to access and visualize macaque annotations in reference to human orthologous genes and associated regulations (www.rhesusbase.org/molEvo). We highlighted the application of this well-annotated genomic framework in generating hypothetical link of human-biased regulations to human-specific traits, by using mechanistic characterization of the DIEXF gene as an example that provides novel clues to the understanding of digestive system reduction in human evolution. On a global scale, we also identified a catalog of 9,295 human-biased regulatory events, which may represent novel elements that have a substantial impact on shaping human transcriptome and possibly underpin recent human phenotypic evolution. Taken together, we provide an NGS data-driven, information-rich framework that will broadly benefit genomics research in general and serves as an important resource for in-depth evolutionary studies of human biology. PMID:24577841

  20. Evolutionary interrogation of human biology in well-annotated genomic framework of rhesus macaque.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shi-Jian; Liu, Chu-Jun; Yu, Peng; Zhong, Xiaoming; Chen, Jia-Yu; Yang, Xinzhuang; Peng, Jiguang; Yan, Shouyu; Wang, Chenqu; Zhu, Xiaotong; Xiong, Jingwei; Zhang, Yong E; Tan, Bertrand Chin-Ming; Li, Chuan-Yun

    2014-05-01

    With genome sequence and composition highly analogous to human, rhesus macaque represents a unique reference for evolutionary studies of human biology. Here, we developed a comprehensive genomic framework of rhesus macaque, the RhesusBase2, for evolutionary interrogation of human genes and the associated regulations. A total of 1,667 next-generation sequencing (NGS) data sets were processed, integrated, and evaluated, generating 51.2 million new functional annotation records. With extensive NGS annotations, RhesusBase2 refined the fine-scale structures in 30% of the macaque Ensembl transcripts, reporting an accurate, up-to-date set of macaque gene models. On the basis of these annotations and accurate macaque gene models, we further developed an NGS-oriented Molecular Evolution Gateway to access and visualize macaque annotations in reference to human orthologous genes and associated regulations (www.rhesusbase.org/molEvo). We highlighted the application of this well-annotated genomic framework in generating hypothetical link of human-biased regulations to human-specific traits, by using mechanistic characterization of the DIEXF gene as an example that provides novel clues to the understanding of digestive system reduction in human evolution. On a global scale, we also identified a catalog of 9,295 human-biased regulatory events, which may represent novel elements that have a substantial impact on shaping human transcriptome and possibly underpin recent human phenotypic evolution. Taken together, we provide an NGS data-driven, information-rich framework that will broadly benefit genomics research in general and serves as an important resource for in-depth evolutionary studies of human biology.

  1. Report of the NASA Mammalian Developmental Biology Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Development is considered to encompass all aspects of the mammalian life span from initial initial germ cell production through the complete life cycle to death of the organism. Thus, gamete production, fertilization, embryogenesis, implantation, fetogenesis, birth, peri- and postnatal maturation, and aging were all considered as stages of a development continuum relevant to problems of Space Biology. Deliberations thus far have been limited to stages of the development cycle from fertilization to early postnatal life. The deliberations are detailed.

  2. Report of the NASA Mammalian Developmental Biology Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefe, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    Development is considered to encompass all aspects of the mammalian life span from initial initial germ cell production through the complete life cycle to death of the organism. Thus, gamete production, fertilization, embryogenesis, implantation, fetogenesis, birth, peri- and postnatal maturation, and aging were all considered as stages of a development continuum relevant to problems of Space Biology. Deliberations thus far have been limited to stages of the development cycle from fertilization to early postnatal life. The deliberations are detailed.

  3. Differentiation: A Central Topic in Developmental and Cell Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, W. A.

    The concept of "differentiation" encompasses all processes leading to differently specialized cell types, beginning with the progressive divergence of developmental pathways and ending with the successive programming and final elaboration of each particular cell type. Guidance and positional information are provided by external cues, by differentially allotted cytoplasmic determinants such as mRNA for transcription factors, and by cascades of intercellular signals. Eventually cell type specific selector genes, such as the muscle cell determining MyoD/myogenin genes and neural key genes (e.g., achaete scute-C, neurogenin), are switched on which control entire sets of subordinate effector genes. In multiplying cells "cell heredity" based on an epigenetic cellular memory enables transmission of the cell type determining program from parental to daughter cells. This memory can be based on autocatalytic self-activation of cell type specific selector genes and on the enduring action of gene groups such as the Polycomb and thrithorax complexes that code for proteins which bind to DNA sequences called cellular memory modules. These modules confer permanent accessibility (potentiation) or inaccessibility (silencing) upon many different gene loci on the chromosomes.

  4. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  5. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  6. Evolution of unusual morphologies in Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts and allies) and Podostemaceae (river-weeds): a pictorial report at the interface of developmental biology and morphological diversification

    PubMed Central

    Rutishauser, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Background Various groups of flowering plants reveal profound (‘saltational’) changes of their bauplans (architectural rules) as compared with related taxa. These plants are known as morphological misfits that appear as rather large morphological deviations from the norm. Some of them emerged as morphological key innovations (perhaps ‘hopeful monsters’) that gave rise to new evolutionary lines of organisms, based on (major) genetic changes. Scope This pictorial report places emphasis on released bauplans as typical for bladderworts (Utricularia, approx. 230 secies, Lentibulariaceae) and river-weeds (Podostemaceae, three subfamilies, approx. 54 genera, approx. 310 species). Bladderworts (Utricularia) are carnivorous, possessing sucking traps. They live as submerged aquatics (except for their flowers), as humid terrestrials or as epiphytes. Most Podostemaceae are restricted to rocks in tropical river-rapids and waterfalls. They survive as submerged haptophytes in these extreme habitats during the rainy season, emerging with their flowers afterwards. The recent scientific progress in developmental biology and evolutionary history of both Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is summarized. Conclusions Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae follow structural rules that are different from but related to those of more typical flowering plants. The roots, stems and leaves – as still distinguishable in related flowering plants – are blurred (‘fuzzy’). However, both families have stable floral bauplans. The developmental switches to unusual vegetative morphologies facilitated rather than prevented the evolution of species diversity in both families. The lack of one-to-one correspondence between structural categories and gene expression may have arisen from the re-use of existing genetic resources in novel contexts. Understanding what developmental patterns are followed in Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is a necessary prerequisite to discover the genetic

  7. Evolution of unusual morphologies in Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts and allies) and Podostemaceae (river-weeds): a pictorial report at the interface of developmental biology and morphological diversification.

    PubMed

    Rutishauser, Rolf

    2016-04-01

    Various groups of flowering plants reveal profound ('saltational') changes of their bauplans (architectural rules) as compared with related taxa. These plants are known as morphological misfits that appear as rather large morphological deviations from the norm. Some of them emerged as morphological key innovations (perhaps 'hopeful monsters') that gave rise to new evolutionary lines of organisms, based on (major) genetic changes. This pictorial report places emphasis on released bauplans as typical for bladderworts (Utricularia, approx. 230 secies, Lentibulariaceae) and river-weeds (Podostemaceae, three subfamilies, approx. 54 genera, approx. 310 species). Bladderworts (Utricularia) are carnivorous, possessing sucking traps. They live as submerged aquatics (except for their flowers), as humid terrestrials or as epiphytes. Most Podostemaceae are restricted to rocks in tropical river-rapids and waterfalls. They survive as submerged haptophytes in these extreme habitats during the rainy season, emerging with their flowers afterwards. The recent scientific progress in developmental biology and evolutionary history of both Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is summarized. Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae follow structural rules that are different from but related to those of more typical flowering plants. The roots, stems and leaves - as still distinguishable in related flowering plants - are blurred ('fuzzy'). However, both families have stable floral bauplans. The developmental switches to unusual vegetative morphologies facilitated rather than prevented the evolution of species diversity in both families. The lack of one-to-one correspondence between structural categories and gene expression may have arisen from the re-use of existing genetic resources in novel contexts. Understanding what developmental patterns are followed in Lentibulariaceae and Podostemaceae is a necessary prerequisite to discover the genetic alterations that led to the evolution of these

  8. Developmental Changes in Children's Inductive Inferences for Biological Concepts: Implications for the Development of Essentialist Beliefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrar, M. Jeffrey; Boyer-Pennington, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    We examined developmental changes in children's inductive inferences about biological concepts as a function of knowledge of properties and concepts. Specifically, 4- to 5-year-olds and 9- to 10-year-olds were taught either familiar or unfamiliar internal, external, or functional properties about known and unknown target animals. Children were…

  9. EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICALLY BASED DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: A WORKSHOP REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Evaluation of biologically based dose-response modeling for developmental toxicity: a workshop report.

    Lau C, Andersen ME, Crawford-Brown DJ, Kavlock RJ, Kimmel CA, Knudsen TB, Muneoka K, Rogers JM, Setzer RW, Smith G, Tyl R.

    Reproductive Toxicology Division, NHEERL...

  10. EVALUATION OF BIOLOGICALLY BASED DOSE-RESPONSE MODELING FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: A WORKSHOP REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Evaluation of biologically based dose-response modeling for developmental toxicity: a workshop report.

    Lau C, Andersen ME, Crawford-Brown DJ, Kavlock RJ, Kimmel CA, Knudsen TB, Muneoka K, Rogers JM, Setzer RW, Smith G, Tyl R.

    Reproductive Toxicology Division, NHEERL...

  11. SUPERNUMERARY RIBS IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY BIOASSAYS AND IN HUMAN POPULATIONS: INCIDENCE AND BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Supernumerary or accessory ribs (SNR), either lumbar (LSNR) or cervical (CSNR) are a common finding in standard developmental toxicology bioassays. The biological significance of these anomalies within the regulatory arena has been problematic and the subject of some...

  12. SUPERNUMERARY RIBS IN DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY BIOASSAYS AND IN HUMAN POPULATIONS: INCIDENCE AND BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Supernumerary or accessory ribs (SNR), either lumbar (LSNR) or cervical (CSNR) are a common finding in standard developmental toxicology bioassays. The biological significance of these anomalies within the regulatory arena has been problematic and the subject of some...

  13. Developmental Changes in Children's Inductive Inferences for Biological Concepts: Implications for the Development of Essentialist Beliefs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farrar, M. Jeffrey; Boyer-Pennington, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    We examined developmental changes in children's inductive inferences about biological concepts as a function of knowledge of properties and concepts. Specifically, 4- to 5-year-olds and 9- to 10-year-olds were taught either familiar or unfamiliar internal, external, or functional properties about known and unknown target animals. Children were…

  14. Pregenerative medicine: developmental paradigms in the biology of cardiovascular regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Yi, B. Alexander; Wernet, Oliver; Chien, Kenneth R.

    2010-01-01

    The ability to create new functional cardiomyocytes is the holy grail of cardiac regenerative medicine. From studies using model organisms, new insights into the fundamental pathways that drive heart muscle regeneration have begun to arise as well as a growing knowledge of the distinct families of multipotent cardiovascular progenitors that generate diverse lineages during heart development. In this Review, we highlight this intersection of the “pregenerative” biology of heart progenitor cells and heart regeneration and discuss the longer term challenges and opportunities in moving toward a therapeutic goal of regenerative cardiovascular medicine. PMID:20051633

  15. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience: Origins, Issues, and Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennington, Bruce F.; Snyder, Kelly A.; Roberts, Ralph J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    This commentary explains how the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience (DCN) holds the promise of a much wider interdisciplinary integration across sciences concerned with development: psychology, molecular genetics, neurobiology, and evolutionary developmental biology. First we present a brief history of DCN, including the key theoretical…

  16. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience: Origins, Issues, and Prospects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pennington, Bruce F.; Snyder, Kelly A.; Roberts, Ralph J., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    This commentary explains how the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience (DCN) holds the promise of a much wider interdisciplinary integration across sciences concerned with development: psychology, molecular genetics, neurobiology, and evolutionary developmental biology. First we present a brief history of DCN, including the key theoretical…

  17. Extended focus Fourier domain optical coherence microscopy assists developmental biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villiger, Martin L.; Beleut, Manfred; Brisken, Cathrin; Lasser, Theo; Leitgeb, Rainer A.

    2007-07-01

    We present a novel detection scheme for Fourier domain optical coherence microscopy (FDOCM). A Bessel-like interference pattern with a strong central lobe was created with an axicon lens. This pattern was then imaged by a telescopic system into the sample space to obtain a laterally highly confined illumination needle, extending over a long axial range. For increased efficiency, the detection occurs decoupled from the illumination, avoiding a double pass through the axicon. Nearly constant transverse resolution of ~1.5μm along a focal range of 200μm with a maximum sensitivity of 105dB was obtained. A broad bandwidth Ti:Sapphire laser allowed for an axial resolution of 3μm in air, providing the nearly isotropic resolution necessary to access the microstructure of biological tissues. Together with the speed- and sensitivity-advantage of FDOCT, this system can perform in vivo measurements in a minimally invasive way. Tomograms of the mouse mammary gland and the mouse follicle, recorded in vitro, revealed biologically relevant structural details. Images acquired with classical microscopy techniques, involving stained and fluorescent samples, validate these structures and emphasize the high contrast of the tomograms. It is comparable to the contrast achieved with classical techniques, but employing neither staining, labeling nor slicing of the samples, stressing the high potential of FDOCM for minimally invasive in vivo small animal imaging.

  18. True yams (Dioscorea): a biological and evolutionary link between eudicots and grasses.

    PubMed

    Mignouna, Hodeba D; Abang, Mathew M; Asiedu, Robert; Geeta, R

    2009-11-01

    Dioscorea (true yams) is a large genus that contains species important as food (with edible tubers) or as sources of bioactive substances used in a range of applications. Dioscorea is a major staple food in many parts of the world, especially in West Africa and the Pacific islands, and serves as a famine food in many regions. It is a critically important but neglected crop, which is likely to increase in importance as climate change leads to necessary changes in global food systems. It is a herbaceous, climbing, tropical monocot that looks rather like a dicot, and is part of a lineage that is relatively closely related to the phylogenetically derived group containing the grasses. Therefore, it represents an important biological link between the eudicots and grasses--groups that contain all the model flowering plant species--and has the potential to fill gaps in our knowledge of plant biology and evolution. Yams also offer us the possibility to gain new insights into processes such as tuberization and sex determination, which cannot be studied in current model organisms. This combination of rising importance due to its socioeconomic significance and interesting biology and evolutionary position justify its potential as a model organism. This potential remains to be harnessed, and much of the current work on yam is directed toward its role as a food crop. This aspect will remain important, but its potential for answering questions of basic biological interest will be a major motivation for researchers interested in this organism.

  19. Comparative transcriptomics among floral organs of the basal eudicot Eschscholzia californica as reference for floral evolutionary developmental studies

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Molecular genetic studies of floral development have concentrated on several core eudicots and grasses (monocots), which have canalized floral forms. Basal eudicots possess a wider range of floral morphologies than the core eudicots and grasses and can serve as an evolutionary link between core eudicots and monocots, and provide a reference for studies of other basal angiosperms. Recent advances in genomics have enabled researchers to profile gene activities during floral development, primarily in the eudicot Arabidopsis thaliana and the monocots rice and maize. However, our understanding of floral developmental processes among the basal eudicots remains limited. Results Using a recently generated expressed sequence tag (EST) set, we have designed an oligonucleotide microarray for the basal eudicot Eschscholzia californica (California poppy). We performed microarray experiments with an interwoven-loop design in order to characterize the E. californica floral transcriptome and to identify differentially expressed genes in flower buds with pre-meiotic and meiotic cells, four floral organs at pre-anthesis stages (sepals, petals, stamens and carpels), developing fruits, and leaves. Conclusions Our results provide a foundation for comparative gene expression studies between eudicots and basal angiosperms. We identified whorl-specific gene expression patterns in E. californica and examined the floral expression of several gene families. Interestingly, most E. californica homologs of Arabidopsis genes important for flower development, except for genes encoding MADS-box transcription factors, show different expression patterns between the two species. Our comparative transcriptomics study highlights the unique evolutionary position of E. californica compared with basal angiosperms and core eudicots. PMID:20950453

  20. Stem cells and lineages of the intestine: a developmental and evolutionary perspective

    PubMed Central

    Takashima, Shigeo; Gold, David; Hartenstein, Volker

    2012-01-01

    The intestine consists of epithelial cells that secrete digestive enzymes and mucus (gland cells), absorb food particles (enterocytes), and produce hormones (endocrine cells). Intestinal cells are rapidly turned over and need to be replaced. In cnidarians, mitosis of differentiated intestinal cells accounts for much of the replacement; in addition, migratory, multipotent stem cells (interstitial cells) contribute to the production of intestinal cells. In other phyla, intestinal cell replacement is solely the function of stem cells entering the gut from the outside (such as in case of the neoblasts of platyhelmints) or intestinal stem cells located within the midgut epithelium (as in both vertebrates or arthropods). We will attempt in the following to review important aspects of midgut stem cells in different animal groups: where are they located, what types of lineages do they produce, and how do they develop. We will start out with a comparative survey of midgut cell types found across the animal kingdom; then briefly look at the specification of these cells during embryonic development; and finally focus on the stem cells that regenerate midgut cells during adult life. In a number of model systems, including mouse, zebrafish and Drosophila, the molecular pathways controlling ISC proliferation and the specification of intestinal cell types are under intensive investigation. We will highlight findings of the recent literature, focusing on aspects that are shared between the different models and that point at evolutionary ancient mechanisms of intestinal cell formation. PMID:23179635

  1. Evolutionary origin of the insect wing via integration of two developmental modules.

    PubMed

    Niwa, Nao; Akimoto-Kato, Ai; Niimi, Teruyuki; Tojo, Koji; Machida, Ryuichiro; Hayashi, Shigeo

    2010-01-01

    Insect wing is a key evolutionary innovation for insect radiation, but its origins and intermediate forms are absent from the fossil record. To understand the ancestral state of the wing, expression of three key regulatory genes in insect wing development, wingless (wg), vestigial (vg), and apterous (ap) was studied in two basal insects, mayfly and bristletail. These basal insects develop dorsal limb branches, tracheal gill and stylus, respectively, that have been considered candidates for wing origin. Here we show that wg and vg are expressed in primordia for tracheal gill and stylus. Those primordia are all located in the lateral body region marked by down-regulation of early segmental wg stripes, but differ in their dorsal-ventral position, indicating their positions drifted within the lateral body region. On the other hand, ap expression was detected in terga of mayfly and bristletail. Notably, the extensive outgrowth of the paranotal lobe of apterygote bristletail developed from the border of ap-expressing tergal margin, and also expressed wg and vg. The data suggest that two regulatory modules involving wg-vg are present in apterygote insects: one associated with lateral body region and induces stick-like dorsal limb branches, the other associated with the boundary of dorsal and lateral body regions and the flat outgrowth of their interface. A combinatorial model is proposed in which dorsal limb branch was incorporated into dorsal-lateral boundary and acquired flat limb morphology through integration of the two wg-vg modules, allowing rapid evolution of the wing.

  2. Sequential developmental programmes for retractor muscles of a caenogastropod: reappraisal of evolutionary homologues

    PubMed Central

    Page, L. R.

    1998-01-01

    Evolutionary changes in the development of shell-attached retractor muscles in gastropods are of fundamental importance to theories about the early evolution and subsequent diversification of this molluscan class. Development of the shell-attached retractor muscle (columellar muscle) in a caenogastropod has been studied at the ultrastructural level to test the hypothesis of homology with the post-torsional left retractor muscle (larval velar retractor) in vetigastropod larvae. The vetigastropod muscle has been implicated in the generation of ontogenetic torsion, a morphogenetic twist between body regions that is important to theories about early gastropod evolution. Two shell-attached retractor muscles develop sequentially in the caenogastropod, Polinices lewisii, which is a pattern that has been also identified in previous ultrastructural studies on a vetigastropod and several nudibranch gastropods. The pattern may be a basal and conserved characteristic of gastropods. I found that the first-formed retractor in larvae of P. lewisii is comparable to the larval velar retractor that exists at the time of ontogenetic torsion in the vetigastropod, Haliotis kamtschatkana. However, the post-metamorphic columellar muscle of P. lewisii is derived exclusively from part of the second-formed muscle, which is comparable to the second-formed pedal muscle system in the vetigastropod. I conclude that the post-metamorphic columellar muscle of P. lewisii, is not homologous to the larval velar retractor of the vetigastropod, H. kamtschatkana.

  3. Dental peculiarities in the silvery mole-rat: an original model for studying the evolutionary and biological origins of continuous dental generation in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Šumbera, Radim

    2015-01-01

    Unravelling the evolutionary and developmental mechanisms that have impacted the mammalian dentition, since more than 200 Ma, is an intricate issue. Interestingly, a few mammal species, including the silvery mole-rat Heliophobius argenteocinereus, are able to replace their dentition by the addition of supernumerary molars at the back of jaw migrating then toward the front. The aim here was to demonstrate the potential interest of further studying this rodent in order to better understand the origins of continuous dental replacement in mammals, which could also provide interesting data concerning the evolution of limited dental generation occurring in first mammals. In the present study, we described the main stages of the dental eruptive sequence in the silvery mole-rat and the associated characteristics of horizontal replacement using X-ray microtomography. This was coupled to the investigation of other African mole-rats which have no dental replacement. This method permitted to establish evidence that the initial development of the dentition in Heliophobius is comparable to what it is observed in most of African mole-rats. This rodent first has premolars, but then identical additional molars, a mechanism convergent to manatees and the pygmy rock-wallaby. Evidence of continuous replacement and strong dental dynamics were also illustrated in Heliophobius, and stressed the need to deeply investigate these aspects for evolutionary, functional and developmental purposes. We also noticed that two groups of extinct non-mammalian synapsids convergently acquired this dental mechanism, but in a way differing from extant mammals. The discussion on the diverse evolutionary origins of horizontal dental replacement put emphasis on the necessity of focusing on biological parameters potentially involved in both continuous and limited developments of teeth in mammals. In that context, the silvery mole-rat could appear as the most appropriate candidate to do so. PMID:26401449

  4. Developmental and functional biology of the primate fetal adrenal cortex.

    PubMed

    Mesiano, S; Jaffe, R B

    1997-06-01

    The unique characteristics of the primate (particularly human) fetal adrenal were first realized in the early 1900s when its morphology was examined in detail and compared with that of other species. The unusual architecture of the human fetal adrenal cortex, with its unique and disproportionately enlarged fetal zone, its compact definitive zone, and its dramatic remodeling soon after birth captured the interest of developmental anatomists. Many detailed anatomical studies describing the morphology of the developing human fetal adrenal were reported between 1920 and 1960, and these morphological descriptions have not changed significantly. More recently, it has become clear that fetal adrenal cortical growth involves cellular hypertrophy, hyperplasia, apoptosis, and migration and is best described by the migration theory, i.e. cells proliferate in the periphery, migrate centripetally, differentiate during their migration to form the functional cortical zones, and then likely undergo apoptosis in the center of the cortex. Consistent with this model, cells of intermediate phenotype, arranged in columnar cords typical of migration, have been identified between the definitive and fetal zones. This cortical area has been referred to as the transitional zone and, based on the expression of steroidogenic enzymes, we consider it to be a functionally distinct cortical zone. Elegant experiments during the 1950s and 1960s demonstrated the central role of the primate fetal adrenal cortex in establishing the estrogenic milieu of pregnancy. Those findings were among the first indications of the function and physiological role of the human fetal adrenal cortex and led Diczfalusy and co-workers to propose the concept of the feto-placental unit, in which DHEA-S produced by the fetal adrenal cortex is used by the placenta for estrogen synthesis. Tissue and cell culture techniques, together with improved steroid assays, revealed that the fetal zone is the primary source of DHEA

  5. The evolutionary biology of cryptic pregnancy: A re-appraisal of the "denied pregnancy" phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Del Giudice, Marco

    2007-01-01

    Previous research on 'denied pregnancy', i.e. lack of subjective awareness of pregnancy until the end of gestation in pregnant women, is reviewed and reinterpreted in an evolutionary biological framework. Recent epidemiological studies show that this condition has a much higher incidence than previously thought (about 1:475). Very often, bodily symptoms of pregnancy (nausea, amenorrhea and abdomen swelling) are absent or greatly reduced, and neonates tend to be underweight; in many cases, pregnancy goes undetected also by relatives and physicians. Current explanations in the clinical literature are based on psychodynamic hypotheses about pregnancy-related unconscious conflicts; the lack of symptoms is accounted for by 'somatic denial'. I argue that such psychodynamic accounts are misguided for two reasons: (1) they rest on a failure to recognize the active biological role of the fetus in determining the course of pregnancy, and (2) they ignore the many levels of mother-fetus conflict over resource allocation described by biological theories of parent-offspring conflict. Here I propose to redefine this condition as 'cryptic pregnancy', and begin to explore its possible physiological correlates and evolutionary significance. In the light of parent-offspring conflict theory, cryptic pregnancy appears to reduce the costs of pregnancy, both energetic and ecological (mobility, dependence on kin/mate, etc.), thus favoring the mother at the expense of the fetus. Reduced hCG production and/or effectiveness is likely to be involved in the process. I propose and discuss three nonexclusive evolutionary hypotheses to account for this phenomenon: (1) cryptic pregnancy could be a nonadaptive outcome of conflict resolution processes over resource allocation in pregnancy, possibly related to minor disruptions of genomic imprinting mechanisms. (2) Cryptic pregnancy could result from missed spontaneous abortions of low-quality fetuses. (3) Finally, cryptic pregnancy could be an

  6. RNA editing of the Drosophila para Na(+) channel transcript. Evolutionary conservation and developmental regulation.

    PubMed Central

    Hanrahan, C J; Palladino, M J; Ganetzky, B; Reenan, R A

    2000-01-01

    Post-transcriptional editing of pre-mRNAs through the action of dsRNA adenosine deaminases results in the modification of particular adenosine (A) residues to inosine (I), which can alter the coding potential of the modified transcripts. We describe here three sites in the para transcript, which encodes the major voltage-activated Na(+) channel polypeptide in Drosophila, where RNA editing occurs. The occurrence of RNA editing at the three sites was found to be developmentally regulated. Editing at two of these sites was also conserved across species between the D. melanogaster and D. virilis. In each case, a highly conserved region was found in the intron downstream of the editing site and this region was shown to be complementary to the region of the exonic editing site. Thus, editing at these sites would appear to involve a mechanism whereby the edited exon forms a base-paired secondary structure with the distant conserved noncoding sequences located in adjacent downstream introns, similar to the mechanism shown for A-to-I RNA editing of mammalian glutamate receptor subunits (GluRs). For the third site, neither RNA editing nor the predicted RNA secondary structures were evolutionarily conserved. Transcripts from transgenic Drosophila expressing a minimal editing site construct for this site were shown to faithfully undergo RNA editing. These results demonstrate that Na(+) channel diversity in Drosophila is increased by RNA editing via a mechanism analogous to that described for transcripts encoding mammalian GluRs. PMID:10880477

  7. Nonlinear, noniterative, single-distance phase retrieval and developmental biology

    SciTech Connect

    Moosmann, Julian; Altapova, Venera; Haenschke, Daniel; Hofmann, Ralf; Baumbach, Tilo

    2012-05-17

    For coherent X-ray imaging, based on phase contrast through free-space Fresnel propagation, we discuss two noniterative, nonlinear approaches to the phase-retrieval problem from a single-distance intensity map of a pure-phase object. On one hand, a perturbative set-up is proposed where nonlinear corrections to the linearized transport-of-intensity situation are expanded in powers of the object-detector distance z and are evaluated in terms of the linear estimate. On the other hand, a nonperturbative projection algorithm, which is based on the (linear and local) contrast-transfer function (CTF), works with an effective phase in Fourier space. This effective phase obeys a modified CTF relation between intensity contrast at z > 0 and phase contrast at z= 0: Unphysical singularities of the local CTF model are cut off to yield 'quasiparticles' in analogy to the theory of the Fermi liquid. By identifying the positions of the zeros of the Fourier transformed intensity contrast as order parameters for the dynamical breaking of scaling symmetry we investigate the phase structure of the forward-propagation problem when interpreted as a statistical system. Results justify the quasiparticle approach for a wide range of intermediary phase variations. The latter algorithm is applied to data from biological samples recorded at the beamlines TopoTomo and ID19 at ANKA and ESRF, respectively.

  8. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diane I; Jayashankar, Kartika; Douglas, Kory C; Thirkill, Twanda L; York, Daniel; Dickinson, Pete J; Williams, Lawrence E; Samollow, Paul B; Ross, Pablo J; Bannasch, Danika L; Douglas, Gordon C; LaSalle, Janine M

    2015-08-01

    Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs) and highly methylated domains (HMDs) with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq) analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo.

  9. Quantifying thermal extremes and biological variation to predict evolutionary responses to changing climate.

    PubMed

    Kingsolver, Joel G; Buckley, Lauren B

    2017-06-19

    Central ideas from thermal biology, including thermal performance curves and tolerances, have been widely used to evaluate how changes in environmental means and variances generate changes in fitness, selection and microevolution in response to climate change. We summarize the opportunities and challenges for extending this approach to understanding the consequences of extreme climatic events. Using statistical tools from extreme value theory, we show how distributions of thermal extremes vary with latitude, time scale and climate change. Second, we review how performance curves and tolerances have been used to predict the fitness and evolutionary responses to climate change and climate gradients. Performance curves and tolerances change with prior thermal history and with time scale, complicating their use for predicting responses to thermal extremes. Third, we describe several recent case studies showing how infrequent extreme events can have outsized effects on the evolution of performance curves and heat tolerance. A key issue is whether thermal extremes affect reproduction or survival, and how these combine to determine overall fitness. We argue that a greater focus on tails-in the distribution of environmental extremes, and in the upper ends of performance curves-is needed to understand the consequences of extreme events.This article is part of the themed issue 'Behavioural, ecological and evolutionary responses to extreme climatic events'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Measuring telomere length and telomere dynamics in evolutionary biology and ecology

    PubMed Central

    Nussey, Daniel H; Baird, Duncan; Barrett, Emma; Boner, Winnie; Fairlie, Jennifer; Gemmell, Neil; Hartmann, Nils; Horn, Thorsten; Haussmann, Mark; Olsson, Mats; Turbill, Chris; Verhulst, Simon; Zahn, Sandrine; Monaghan, Pat

    2014-01-01

    Telomeres play a fundamental role in the protection of chromosomal DNA and in the regulation of cellular senescence. Recent work in human epidemiology and evolutionary ecology suggests adult telomere length (TL) may reflect past physiological stress and predict subsequent morbidity and mortality, independent of chronological age. Several different methods have been developed to measure TL, each offering its own technical challenges. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of each method for researchers, with a particular focus on issues that are likely to face ecologists and evolutionary biologists collecting samples in the field or in organisms that may never have been studied in this context before. We discuss the key issues to consider and wherever possible try to provide current consensus view regarding best practice with regard to sample collection and storage, DNA extraction and storage, and the five main methods currently available to measure TL. Decisions regarding which tissues to sample, how to store them, how to extract DNA, and which TL measurement method to use cannot be prescribed, and are dependent on the biological question addressed and the constraints imposed by the study system. What is essential for future studies of telomere dynamics in evolution and ecology is that researchers publish full details of their methods and the quality control thresholds they employ. PMID:25834722

  11. Middle Pleistocene human facial morphology in an evolutionary and developmental context.

    PubMed

    Freidline, Sarah E; Gunz, Philipp; Harvati, Katerina; Hublin, Jean-Jacques

    2012-11-01

    Neanderthals and modern humans exhibit distinct facial architectures. The patterning of facial morphology of their predecessors, the Middle Pleistocene humans, is more mosaic showing a mix of archaic and modern morphologies. Significant changes in facial size and robusticity occurred throughout Pleistocene human evolution, resulting in temporal trends in both facial reduction and enlargement. However, the allometric patterning in facial morphology in archaic humans is not well understood. This study explores temporal trends in facial morphology in order to gain a clearer understanding of the polarity of features, and describes the allometric patterning of facial shape. The modern human sample comprises cross-sectional growth series of four morphologically distinct human populations. The fossil sample covers specimens from the Middle Pleistocene to the Upper Paleolithic. We digitized landmarks and semilandmarks on surface and computed tomography scans and analyzed the Procrustes shape coordinates. Principal component analyses were performed, and Procrustes distances were used to identify phenetic similarities between fossil hominins. In order to explore the influence of size on facial features, allometric trajectories were calculated for fossil and modern human groups, and developmental simulations were performed. We show that facial features can be used to separate Pleistocene humans into temporal clusters. The distinctly modern human pattern of facial morphology is already present around 170 ka. Species- and population-specific facial features develop before two years of age, and several of the large-scale facial differences between Neanderthals and Middle Pleistocene humans are due to scaling along a shared allometric trajectory. These features include aspects of the frontal bone, browridge morphology, nasal aperture size and facial prognathism. Infraorbital surface topography and orientation of the midface in the European Middle Pleistocene hominins is

  12. Intuitive biological thought: Developmental changes and effects of biology education in late adolescence.

    PubMed

    Coley, John D; Arenson, Melanie; Xu, Yian; Tanner, Kimberly D

    2017-02-01

    A large body of cognitive research has shown that people intuitively and effortlessly reason about the biological world in complex and systematic ways. We addressed two questions about the nature of intuitive biological reasoning: How does intuitive biological thinking change during adolescence and early adulthood? How does increasing biology education influence intuitive biological thinking? To do so, we developed a battery of measures to systematically test three components of intuitive biological thought: anthropocentric thinking, teleological thinking and essentialist thinking, and tested 8th graders and university students (both biology majors, and non-biology majors). Results reveal clear evidence of persistent intuitive reasoning among all populations studied, consistent but surprisingly small differences between 8th graders and college students on measures of intuitive biological thought, and consistent but again surprisingly small influence of increasing biology education on intuitive biological reasoning. Results speak to the persistence of intuitive reasoning, the importance of taking intuitive knowledge into account in science classrooms, and the necessity of interdisciplinary research to advance biology education. Further studies are necessary to investigate how cultural context and continued acquisition of expertise impact intuitive biology thinking.

  13. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. I. Training and validating population dynamics equations.

    PubMed

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D

    2014-08-06

    Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities.

  14. Collaboration Networks in the Brazilian Scientific Output in Evolutionary Biology: 2000-2012.

    PubMed

    Santin, Dirce M; Vanz, Samile A S; Stumpf, Ida R C

    2016-03-01

    This article analyzes the existing collaboration networks in the Brazilian scientific output in Evolutionary Biology, considering articles published during the period from 2000 to 2012 in journals indexed by Web of Science. The methodology integrates bibliometric techniques and Social Network Analysis resources to describe the growth of Brazilian scientific output and understand the levels, dynamics and structure of collaboration between authors, institutions and countries. The results unveil an enhancement and consolidation of collaborative relationships over time and suggest the existence of key institutions and authors, whose influence on research is expressed by the variety and intensity of the relationships established in the co-authorship of articles. International collaboration, present in more than half of the publications, is highly significant and unusual in Brazilian science. The situation indicates the internationalization of scientific output and the ability of the field to take part in the science produced by the international scientific community.

  15. Evolutionary game theory for physical and biological scientists. I. Training and validating population dynamics equations

    PubMed Central

    Liao, David; Tlsty, Thea D.

    2014-01-01

    Failure to understand evolutionary dynamics has been hypothesized as limiting our ability to control biological systems. An increasing awareness of similarities between macroscopic ecosystems and cellular tissues has inspired optimism that game theory will provide insights into the progression and control of cancer. To realize this potential, the ability to compare game theoretic models and experimental measurements of population dynamics should be broadly disseminated. In this tutorial, we present an analysis method that can be used to train parameters in game theoretic dynamics equations, used to validate the resulting equations, and used to make predictions to challenge these equations and to design treatment strategies. The data analysis techniques in this tutorial are adapted from the analysis of reaction kinetics using the method of initial rates taught in undergraduate general chemistry courses. Reliance on computer programming is avoided to encourage the adoption of these methods as routine bench activities. PMID:25097751

  16. Cryptic organelle homology in Apicomplexan parasites: Insights from evolutionary cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Christen M.; Nisbet, R. Ellen; Ouologuem, Dinkorma T.; Roos, David S.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    The economic and clinical significance of apicomplexan parasites drives interest in their many evolutionary novelties. Distinctive intracellular organelles play key roles in parasite motility, invasion, metabolism, and replication, and understanding their relationship with the organelles of better-studied eukaryotic systems suggests potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent work has demonstrated divergent aspects of canonical eukaryotic components in the apicomplexa, including Golgi bodies and mitochondria. The apicoplast is a relict plastid of secondary endosymbiotic origin, harboring metabolic pathways distinct from those of host species. The inner membrane complex is derived from the cortical alveoli defining the superphylum Alveolata, but in apicomplexans functions in parasite motility and replication. Micronemes and rhoptries are associated with establishment of the intracellular niche, and define the apical complex for which the phylum is named. Morphological, cell biological and molecular evidence strongly suggest that these organelles are derived from the endocytic pathway. PMID:23932202

  17. Gyrodactylid developmental biology: historical review, current status and future trends.

    PubMed

    Cable, J; Harris, P D

    2002-03-01

    In the viviparous gyrodactylids, embryos develop one inside another within the parental uterus, a phenomenon with major implications for the biology of this species-rich group. Development occurs via two routes: first-born daughters develop at the centre of an embryo cluster in utero, whereas all other daughters develop from oocytes. The resulting offspring are, however, morphologically indistinguishable. We review here the history of gyrodactylid embryology in the context of current knowledge and, present additional cytogenetic and ultrastructural observations of embryonic development. These progenetic parasites are highly modified for viviparity; oocyte maturation and sperm storage occur in a single chamber, the Egg Cell Forming Region, and a mature oocyte passes into the uterus after the birth of the preceding, fully developed offspring. The uterus has a syncytial lining derived from anterior and posterior cap cells. These cells are the first to differentiate in the female reproductive system and may be involved in controlling development. Embryos receive nutrients via the uterus rather than from vitelline cells. Traditionally, development of the first-born daughter has been considered a form of polyembryony, although paedogenesis has also been suggested. In contrast to previous studies, we could not trace lineage of the first-born daughter to a single quiescent macromere. However, only mitotic divisions have been conclusively observed in the intraembryonic generation, indicating an asexual origin. All other daughters are formed from meiotically derived oocytes by sexual reproduction or automictic parthenogenesis. The latter may involve pre-meiotic doubling of chromosomes, but the precise mechanism and the relative proportion of sexual and parthenogenetic offspring are unknown. Exceptionally, cleavage in Gyrodactylus spp. occurs by duets rather than quartets (a pattern previously only recorded in acoels) and is characterised by extensive cell rearrangements

  18. Are humans prone to autoimmunity? Implications from evolutionary changes in hominin sialic acid biology.

    PubMed

    Varki, Ajit

    2017-09-01

    Given varied intrinsic and extrinsic challenges to the immune system, it is unsurprising that each evolutionary lineage evolves distinctive features of immunoreactivity, and that tolerance mechanisms fail, allowing autoimmunity. Humans appear prone to many autoimmune diseases, with mechanisms both genetic and environmental. Another rapidly evolving biological system involves sialic acids, a family of monosaccharides that are terminal caps on cell surface and secreted molecules of vertebrates, and play multifarious roles in immunity. We have explored multiple genomic changes in sialic acid biology that occurred in human ancestors (hominins), some with implications for enhanced immunoreactivity, and hence for autoimmunity. Human ancestors lost the enzyme synthesizing the common mammalian sialic acid Neu5Gc, with an accumulation of the precursor sialic acid Neu5Ac. Resulting changes include an enhanced reactivity by some immune cells and increased ability of macrophages to kill bacteria, at the cost of increased endotoxin sensitivity. There are also multiple human-specific evolutionary changes in inhibitory and activating Siglecs, immune cell receptors that recognize sialic acids as "self-associated molecular patterns" (SAMPs) to modulate immunity, but can also be hijacked by pathogen molecular mimicry of SAMPs. Altered expression patterns and fixed or polymorphic SIGLEC pseudogenization in humans has modulated both innate and adaptive immunity, sometimes favoring over-reactivity. Meanwhile, dietary intake of Neu5Gc (derived primarily from red meats) allows metabolic incorporation of this non-human molecule into human cells--apparently the first example of "xeno-autoimmunity" involving "xeno-autoantigen" interactions with circulating "xeno-autoantibodies". Taken together, some of these factors may contribute to the apparent human propensity for autoimmunity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology.

    PubMed

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-05-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a "causal pie" of "component causes". Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made.

  20. The causal pie model: an epidemiological method applied to evolutionary biology and ecology

    PubMed Central

    Wensink, Maarten; Westendorp, Rudi G J; Baudisch, Annette

    2014-01-01

    A general concept for thinking about causality facilitates swift comprehension of results, and the vocabulary that belongs to the concept is instrumental in cross-disciplinary communication. The causal pie model has fulfilled this role in epidemiology and could be of similar value in evolutionary biology and ecology. In the causal pie model, outcomes result from sufficient causes. Each sufficient cause is made up of a “causal pie” of “component causes”. Several different causal pies may exist for the same outcome. If and only if all component causes of a sufficient cause are present, that is, a causal pie is complete, does the outcome occur. The effect of a component cause hence depends on the presence of the other component causes that constitute some causal pie. Because all component causes are equally and fully causative for the outcome, the sum of causes for some outcome exceeds 100%. The causal pie model provides a way of thinking that maps into a number of recurrent themes in evolutionary biology and ecology: It charts when component causes have an effect and are subject to natural selection, and how component causes affect selection on other component causes; which partitions of outcomes with respect to causes are feasible and useful; and how to view the composition of a(n apparently homogeneous) population. The diversity of specific results that is directly understood from the causal pie model is a test for both the validity and the applicability of the model. The causal pie model provides a common language in which results across disciplines can be communicated and serves as a template along which future causal analyses can be made. PMID:24963386

  1. Socioemotional, Personality, and Biological Development: Illustrations from a Multilevel Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Child Maltreatment.

    PubMed

    Cicchetti, Dante

    2016-01-01

    Developmental theories can be affirmed, challenged, and augmented by incorporating knowledge about atypical ontogenesis. Investigations of the biological, socioemotional, and personality development in individuals with high-risk conditions and psychopathological disorders can provide an entrée into the study of system organization, disorganization, and reorganization. This article examines child maltreatment to illustrate the benefit that can be derived from the study of individuals subjected to nonnormative caregiving experiences. Relative to an average expectable environment, which consists of a species-specific range of environmental conditions that support adaptive development among genetically normal individuals, maltreating families fail to provide many of the experiences that are required for normal development. Principles gleaned from the field of developmental psychopathology provide a framework for understanding multilevel functioning in normality and pathology. Knowledge of normative developmental processes provides the impetus to design and implement randomized control trial (RCT) interventions that can promote resilient functioning in maltreated children.

  2. Colour variation in cichlid fish: Developmental mechanisms, selective pressures and evolutionary consequences☆

    PubMed Central

    Maan, Martine E.; Sefc, Kristina M.

    2013-01-01

    Cichlid fishes constitute one of the most species-rich families of vertebrates. In addition to complex social behaviour and morphological versatility, they are characterised by extensive diversity in colouration, both within and between species. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying colour variation in this group and the selective pressures responsible for the observed variation. We specifically address the evidence for the hypothesis that divergence in colouration is associated with the evolution of reproductive isolation between lineages. While we conclude that cichlid colours are excellent models for understanding the role of animal communication in species divergence, we also identify taxonomic and methodological biases in the current research effort. We suggest that the integration of genomic approaches with ecological and behavioural studies, across the entire cichlid family and beyond it, will contribute to the utility of the cichlid model system for understanding the evolution of biological diversity. PMID:23665150

  3. Culture extends the scope of evolutionary biology in the great apes

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Discoveries about the cultures and cultural capacities of the great apes have played a leading role in the recognition emerging in recent decades that cultural inheritance can be a significant factor in the lives not only of humans but also of nonhuman animals. This prominence derives in part from these primates being those with whom we share the most recent common ancestry, thus offering clues to the origins of our own thoroughgoing reliance on cumulative cultural achievements. In addition, the intense research focus on these species has spawned an unprecedented diversity of complementary methodological approaches, the results of which suggest that cultural phenomena pervade the lives of these apes, with potentially major implications for their broader evolutionary biology. Here I review what this extremely broad array of observational and experimental methodologies has taught us about the cultural lives of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans and consider the ways in which this knowledge extends our wider understanding of primate biology and the processes of adaptation and evolution that shape it. I address these issues first by evaluating the extent to which the results of cultural inheritance echo a suite of core principles that underlie organic Darwinian evolution but also extend them in new ways and then by assessing the principal causal interactions between the primary, genetically based organic processes of evolution and the secondary system of cultural inheritance that is based on social learning from others. PMID:28739927

  4. Nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius): an emerging model for evolutionary biology research.

    PubMed

    Merilä, Juha

    2013-06-01

    The nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) is emerging as a model for evolutionary biology, genetic, and behavioral research in the wake of its better-known relative, the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). This interest has been fed by its fascinating biological features, such as the repeated evolution of similar phenotypes in isolated pond populations. A large body of recent research has uncovered the finding that pond nine-spined sticklebacks have evolved numerous morphological, life history, neuroanatomical, and behavioral adaptations-possibly in response to reduced threat of fish predation-which differentiate them from their marine conspecifics. These features, together with insights from recent population genetic studies, suggest that this species provides an interesting model for studies aiming to understand-and differentiate between-genetic convergence and parallelism as underlying mechanism(s) of evolution of similar phenotypes in multiple independent sites. This review provides a synopsis of and reflections on the insights borne out of recent studies of nine-spined sticklebacks-the little sister of ecology's "new supermodel." © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  5. Linking Biological and Cognitive Aging: Toward Improving Characterizations of Developmental Time

    PubMed Central

    DeCarlo, Correne A.; Dixon, Roger A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. Chronological age is the most frequently employed predictor in life-span developmental research, despite repeated assertions that it is best conceived as a proxy for true mechanistic changes that influence cognition across time. The present investigation explores the potential that selected functional biomarkers may contribute to the more effective conceptual and operational definitions of developmental time. Methods. We used data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study to explore both static and dynamic biological or physiological markers that arguably influence process-specific mechanisms underlying cognitive changes in late life. Multilevel models were fit to test the dynamic coupling between change in theoretically relevant biomarkers (e.g., grip strength, pulmonary function) and change in select cognitive measures (e.g., executive function, episodic and semantic memory). Results. Results showed that, independent of the passage of developmental time (indexed as years in study), significant time-varying covariation was observed linking corresponding declines for select cognitive outcomes and biological markers. Discussion. Our findings support the interpretation that cognitive decline is not due to chronological aging per se but rather reflects multiple causal factors from a broad range of biological and physical health domains that operate along the age continuum. PMID:21743053

  6. Programming cell death in the 1960s: developmental biology beyond dichotomy.

    PubMed

    Park, Hyung Wook

    2015-01-01

    Programmed cell death (PCD) has been one of the most significant topics in modern biomedical research. Its broad importance in many biological and pathological phenomena, including morphogenesis, autoimmune disease, and cancer, demonstrates that its origin deserves a historical examination. By analyzing the role of developmental biology of the 1960s in shaping the notion of a program, this paper explains the emergence of a close correlation between not only life and death, but also the normal and the pathological in the postwar study of cell death. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The society for craniofacial genetics and developmental biology 39th annual meeting.

    PubMed

    Fish, Jennifer L; Albertson, Craig; Harris, Matthew P; Lozanoff, Scott; Marcucio, Ralph S; Richtsmeier, Joan T; Trainor, Paul A

    2017-04-01

    The Society for Craniofacial Genetics and Developmental Biology (SCGDB) aims to promote education, research, and communication, about normal and abnormal development of the tissues and organs of the head. Membership of the SCGDB is broad and diverse-including clinicians, orthodontists, scientists, and academics-but with all members sharing an interest in craniofacial biology. Each year, the SCGDB hosts a meeting where members can share their latest research, exchange ideas and resources, and build on or establish new collaborations. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Is evolutionary biology becoming too politically correct? A reflection on the scala naturae, phylogenetically basal clades, anatomically plesiomorphic taxa, and 'lower' animals.

    PubMed

    Diogo, Rui; Ziermann, Janine M; Linde-Medina, Marta

    2015-05-01

    , or the strepsirrhines and lemurs within the Primates, for instance. This review will contribute to improving our understanding of these broad evolutionary issues and of the evolution of the vertebrate Bauplans, and hopefully will stimulate future phylogenetic, evolutionary and developmental studies of these clades. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  9. Merging of Research and Teaching in Developmental Biology: Adaptation of Current Scientific Research Papers for Use in Undergraduate Laboratory Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, H. H.; and others

    1970-01-01

    Describes two laboratory exercises adopted from current research papers for use in an undergraduate developmental biology course. Gives methods, summary of student results, and student comments. Lists lecture topics, text and reprint assignments, and laboratory exercises for course. (EB)

  10. Bridging the physical scales in evolutionary biology: from protein sequence space to fitness of organisms and populations.

    PubMed

    Bershtein, Shimon; Serohijos, Adrian Wr; Shakhnovich, Eugene I

    2017-02-01

    Bridging the gap between the molecular properties of proteins and organismal/population fitness is essential for understanding evolutionary processes. This task requires the integration of the several physical scales of biological organization, each defined by a distinct set of mechanisms and constraints, into a single unifying model. The molecular scale is dominated by the constraints imposed by the physico-chemical properties of proteins and their substrates, which give rise to trade-offs and epistatic (non-additive) effects of mutations. At the systems scale, biological networks modulate protein expression and can either buffer or enhance the fitness effects of mutations. The population scale is influenced by the mutational input, selection regimes, and stochastic changes affecting the size and structure of populations, which eventually determine the evolutionary fate of mutations. Here, we summarize the recent advances in theory, computer simulations, and experiments that advance our understanding of the links between various physical scales in biology.

  11. The Childhood Solid Tumor Network: A new resource for the developmental biology and oncology research communities.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Elizabeth; Federico, Sara; Karlstrom, Asa; Shelat, Anang; Sablauer, Andras; Pappo, Alberto; Dyer, Michael A

    2016-03-15

    Significant advances have been made over the past 25 years in our understanding of the most common adult solid tumors such as breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Much less is known about childhood solid tumors because they are rare and because they originate in developing organs during fetal development, childhood and adolescence. It can be very difficult to study the cellular origins of pediatric solid tumors in developing organs characterized by rapid proliferative expansion, growth factor signaling, developmental angiogenesis, programmed cell death, tissue reorganization and cell migration. Not only has the etiology of pediatric cancer remained elusive because of their developmental origins, but it also makes it more difficult to treat. Molecular targeted therapeutics that alter developmental pathway signaling may have devastating effects on normal organ development. Therefore, basic research focused on the mechanisms of development provides an essential foundation for pediatric solid tumor translational research. In this article, we describe new resources available for the developmental biology and oncology research communities. In a companion paper, we present the detailed characterization of an orthotopic xenograft of a pediatric solid tumor derived from sympathoadrenal lineage during development.

  12. Using models to enhance the intellectual content of learning in developmental biology.

    PubMed

    McLachlan, John C

    2003-01-01

    Models have been particularly useful in developmental biology over the last 30 years. At first, underlying control mechanisms were poorly understood, but over time a wealth of detailed information became available to provide an increasingly detailed knowledge of underlying mechanisms, at levels from genes through cells to organs, organisms and populations. Models are also of great value in teaching developmental biology, as they allow students to explore phenomena hard to perceive directly because of their scale, accessibility, expense or other considerations. A model may allow students to "experiment" in ways which would be impractical in real life, as well as give them a deep understanding of competing hypotheses of development. Lastly, students can be challenged to produce models of their own, whereas only rarely are they able to carry out original experiments. I discuss two main kinds of models and their uses in generating, testing and expounding hypotheses and point out dangers in the use of models in education. Models may draw upon and reflect the consensus paradigm in the field: a researcher may be able to appreciate that models are interim conditional statements of probability and use them to generate new knowledge. A student may be less able to do so and may fail to appreciate where new knowledge will come from. And unlike physics, biology is stochastic and contingent and can never be entirely deduced from first principles, implying that models can never be as perfect in any biological field as they can be in some other fields.

  13. The Current Status of the Philosophy of Biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takacs, Peter; Ruse, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The philosophy of biology today is one of the most exciting areas of philosophy. It looks critically across the life sciences, teasing out conceptual issues and difficulties bringing to bear the tools of philosophical analysis to achieve clarification and understanding. This essay surveys work in all of the major directions of research: evolutionary theory and the units/levels of selection; evolutionary developmental biology; reductionism; ecology; the species problem; teleology; evolutionary epistemology; evolutionary ethics; and progress. There is a comprehensive bibliography.

  14. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research

    PubMed Central

    Kockel, Lutz; Huq, Lutfi M.; Ayyar, Anika; Herold, Emma; MacAlpine, Elle; Logan, Madeline; Savvides, Christina; Kim, Grace E. S.; Chen, Jiapei; Clark, Theresa; Duong, Trang; Fazel-Rezai, Vahid; Havey, Deanna; Han, Samuel; Jagadeesan, Ravi; Kim, Eun Soo Jackie; Lee, Diane; Lombardo, Kaelina; Piyale, Ida; Shi, Hansen; Stahr, Lydia; Tung, Dana; Tayvah, Uriel; Wang, Flora; Wang, Ja-Hon; Xiao, Sarah; Topper, Sydni M.; Park, Sangbin; Rotondo, Cheryl; Rankin, Anne E.; Chisholm, Townley W.; Kim, Seung K.

    2016-01-01

    Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila. However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals. PMID:27527793

  15. A Drosophila LexA Enhancer-Trap Resource for Developmental Biology and Neuroendocrine Research.

    PubMed

    Kockel, Lutz; Huq, Lutfi M; Ayyar, Anika; Herold, Emma; MacAlpine, Elle; Logan, Madeline; Savvides, Christina; Kim, Grace E S; Chen, Jiapei; Clark, Theresa; Duong, Trang; Fazel-Rezai, Vahid; Havey, Deanna; Han, Samuel; Jagadeesan, Ravi; Kim, Eun Soo Jackie; Lee, Diane; Lombardo, Kaelina; Piyale, Ida; Shi, Hansen; Stahr, Lydia; Tung, Dana; Tayvah, Uriel; Wang, Flora; Wang, Ja-Hon; Xiao, Sarah; Topper, Sydni M; Park, Sangbin; Rotondo, Cheryl; Rankin, Anne E; Chisholm, Townley W; Kim, Seung K

    2016-10-13

    Novel binary gene expression tools like the LexA-LexAop system could powerfully enhance studies of metabolism, development, and neurobiology in Drosophila However, specific LexA drivers for neuroendocrine cells and many other developmentally relevant systems remain limited. In a unique high school biology course, we generated a LexA-based enhancer trap collection by transposon mobilization. The initial collection provides a source of novel LexA-based elements that permit targeted gene expression in the corpora cardiaca, cells central for metabolic homeostasis, and other neuroendocrine cell types. The collection further contains specific LexA drivers for stem cells and other enteric cells in the gut, and other developmentally relevant tissue types. We provide detailed analysis of nearly 100 new LexA lines, including molecular mapping of insertions, description of enhancer-driven reporter expression in larval tissues, and adult neuroendocrine cells, comparison with established enhancer trap collections and tissue specific RNAseq. Generation of this open-resource LexA collection facilitates neuroendocrine and developmental biology investigations, and shows how empowering secondary school science can achieve research and educational goals. Copyright © 2016 Kockel et al.

  16. Trypanosome species in neo-tropical bats: biological, evolutionary and epidemiological implications.

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Juan David; Tapia-Calle, Gabriela; Muñoz-Cruz, Geissler; Poveda, Cristina; Rendón, Lina M; Hincapié, Eduwin; Guhl, Felipe

    2014-03-01

    Bats (Chiroptera) are the only mammals naturally able to fly. Due to this characteristic they play a relevant ecological role in the niches they inhabit. These mammals spread infectious diseases from enzootic to domestic foci. Rabbies, SARS, fungi, ebola and trypanosomes are the most common pathogens these animals may host. We conducted intensive sampling of bats from the phyllostomidae, vespertilionidae and emballonuridae families in six localities from Casanare department in eastern Colombia. Blood-EDTA samples were obtained and subsequently submitted to analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear genetic markers in order to conduct barcoding analyses to discriminate trypanosome species. The findings according to the congruence of the three molecular markers suggest the occurrence of Trypanosoma cruzi cruzi (51%), T. c. marinkellei (9%), T. dionisii (13%), T. rangeli (21%), T. evansi (4%) and T. theileri (2%) among 107 positive bat specimens. Regarding the T. cruzi DTUs, we observed the presence of TcI (60%), TcII (15%), TcIII (7%), TcIV (7%) and TcBAT (11%) being the first evidence to our concern of the foreseen genotype TcBAT in Colombia. These results allowed us to propose reliable hypotheses regarding the ecology and biology of the bats circulating in the area including the enigmatic question whether TcBAT should be considered a novel DTU. The epidemiological and evolutionary implications of these findings are herein discussed.

  17. Evolutionary transition from biological to social systems via generation of reflexive models of externality.

    PubMed

    Igamberdiev, Abir U

    2017-06-24

    Evolutionary transition from biological to social systems corresponds to the emergence of the structure of subject that incorporates the internal image of external world. This structure, established on the basis of referral of the subject (self) to its symbolic image, acquires a potential to rationally describe the external world through the semiotic structure of human language. It has been modelled in reflexive psychology using the algebra of simple relations (Lefebvre, V.A., J. Soc. Biol. Struct. 10, 129-175, 1987). The model introduces a substantial opposition of the two basic complementary types of reflexion defined as Western (W) and Eastern (E). These types generate opposite models of behavior and opposite organizations of societies. Development of human societies involves the interactions of W and E types not only between the societies but also within one society underlying its homeostasis and dynamics. Invention of new ideas and implementation of new technologies shift the probability pattern of reflexive choices, appearing as internal assessments of the individual agents within a society, and direct changes in the preference of reflexive types. The dynamics of societies and of interactions between societies is based on the interference of opposite reflexive structures and on the establishment of different patterns during such interference. At different times of the history of human civilization these changing patterns resulted in the formation and splitting of large empires, the development and spreading of new technologies, the consecutive periods of wellness and decline. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Altruism, egoism, or neither: A cognitive-efficiency-based evolutionary biological perspective on helping behavior.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Armin W

    2016-04-01

    I argue for differences in the cognitive efficiency of different psychologies underlying helping behavior, and present an account of the adaptive pressures that result from these differences. Specifically, I argue that organisms often face pressure to move away from only being egoistically motivated to help: non-egoistic organisms are often able to determine how to help other organisms more quickly and with less recourse to costly cognitive resources like concentration and attention. Furthermore, I also argue that, while these pressures away from pure egoism can lead to the evolution of altruists, they can also lead to the evolution of reciprocation-focused behaviorist helpers or even of reflex-driven helpers (who are neither altruists nor egoists). In this way, I seek to broaden the set of considerations typically taken into account when assessing the evolution of the psychology of helping behavior-which tend to be restricted to matters of reliability-and also try to make clearer the role of evolutionary biological considerations in the discussion of this apparently straightforwardly psychological phenomenon. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. The social production of health: critical contributions from evolutionary, biological, and cultural anthropology.

    PubMed

    Levin, Betty Wolder; Browner, C H

    2005-08-01

    In 1946, the newly formed World Health Organization boldly sought to conceptualize "health" as wellbeing in the positive sense, "not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Yet nearly six decades later, researchers are still principally concerned with pathology and its characteristics and consequences. This special issue is the result of an effort to broaden the focus. Anthropologists working from evolutionary, biological and sociocultural perspectives and in diverse geographic regions were asked to examine meanings associated with health and/or to identify social conditions and practices that have contributed to positive physiological and psychological states in particular cultures, times, or across time. Most notable, perhaps, was discovering how difficult it is for Western social scientists to move beyond pathology-based thinking; most authors represented here regard health primarily as the absence of disease. Still, these papers articulate and address questions key to understanding health in and of itself, including: How is health conceptualized? What kinds of social conditions lead to health? And, how do social inequalities affect health? This introduction critically discusses previous work on the subject to contextualize the original research papers offered here.

  20. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Division Mode in the Bacterial Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia- Chlamydiae Superphylum

    PubMed Central

    Rivas-Marín, Elena; Canosa, Inés; Devos, Damien P.

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria from the Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Chlamydiae (PVC) superphylum are exceptions to the otherwise dominant mode of division by binary fission, which is based on the interaction between the FtsZ protein and the peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis machinery. Some PVC bacteria are deprived of the FtsZ protein and were also thought to lack PG. How these bacteria divide is still one of the major mysteries of microbiology. The presence of PG has recently been revealed in Planctomycetes and Chlamydiae, and proteins related to PG synthesis have been shown to be implicated in the division process in Chlamydiae, providing important insights into PVC mechanisms of division. Here, we review the historical lack of observation of PG in PVC bacteria, its recent detection in two phyla and its involvement in chlamydial cell division. Based on the detection of PG-related proteins in PVC proteomes, we consider the possible evolution of the diverse division mechanisms in these bacteria. We conclude by summarizing what is known and what remains to be understood about the evolutionary cell biology of PVC division modes. PMID:28018303