Developmental Evolution


Development and evolution are superficially similar in that both deal with change. In the past, the study of comparative embryology was used as a powerful argument both for and against evolution. More recently, experimental approaches are being used to address questions at a molecular genetic level in both evolutionary and developmental biology studies. The data and ideas generated have led to attempts to synthesize the two disciplines that have been very fruitful, if only partially successful, to date.

Keywords: comparative embryology; developmental modules; dissociation; gene expression; gene regulation

Further Reading

Carroll SB, Grenier JK and Weatherbee SD (2001) From DNA to Diversity: Molecular Genetics and the Evolution of Animal Design. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Christen B and Slack JM (1998) All limbs are not the same. Nature 395: 230–231.

DuBoule D and Wilkins AS (1998) The evolution of ‘bricolage’. Trends in Genetics 14: 54–59.

Fougerousse F, Bullen P, Herasse M, et al. (2000) Human–mouse differences in the embryonic expression patterns of developmental control genes and disease genes. Human Molecular Genetics 9: 165–173.

Gould SJ (1992) Ontogeny and phylogeny revisited and reunited. Bioessays 14: 275–279.

Gould SJ (2000) Of coiled oysters and big brains: how to rescue the terminology of heterochrony, now gone astray. Evolution and Development 2: 241–248.

Raff RA (1996) The Shape of Life: Genes, Development and the Evolution of Animal Form. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Raff RA, Arthur W, Carroll SB, Coates MI and Wray G (1999) Chronicling the birth of a discipline. Evolution and Development 1: 1–2.

Raff EC and Raff RA (2000) Dissociability, modularity and evolution. Evolution and Development 2: 235–237.

Richardson MK (1995) Heterochrony and the phylotypic period. Developmental Biology 172: 412–421.

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How to Cite close
Lindsay, Susan(Jul 2006) Developmental Evolution. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0005112]