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Developmental bias and evolution: a regulatory network perspective

Developmental bias and evolution: a regulatory network perspective
Developmental bias and evolution: a regulatory network perspective
Phenotypic variation is generated by the processes of development, with some variants arising more readily than others-a phenomenon known as "developmental bias." Developmental bias and natural selection have often been portrayed as alternative explanations, but this is a false dichotomy: developmental bias can evolve through natural selection, and bias and selection jointly influence phenotypic evolution. Here, we briefly review the evidence for developmental bias and illustrate how it is studied empirically. We describe recent theory on regulatory networks that explains why the influence of genetic and environmental perturbation on phenotypes is typically not uniform, and may even be biased toward adaptive phenotypic variation. We show how bias produced by developmental processes constitutes an evolving property able to impose direction on adaptive evolution and influence patterns of taxonomic and phenotypic diversity. Taking these considerations together, we argue that it is not sufficient to accommodate developmental bias into evolutionary theory merely as a constraint on evolutionary adaptation. The influence of natural selection in shaping developmental bias, and conversely, the influence of developmental bias in shaping subsequent opportunities for adaptation, requires mechanistic models of development to be expanded and incorporated into evolutionary theory. A regulatory network perspective on phenotypic evolution thus helps to integrate the generation of phenotypic variation with natural selection, leaving evolutionary biology better placed to explain how organisms adapt and diversify
1943-2631
949-966
Uller, Tobias
2214fc35-45ec-457e-911b-4cd1d3c51492
Moczek, Armin
f57236ad-2ba3-4143-8cd7-389da62029dc
Watson, Richard
ce199dfc-d5d4-4edf-bd7b-f9e224c96c75
Brakefield, Paul
93d0185f-b9bf-4db0-9a58-ff02576389cb
Laland, Kevin
56efce7f-5ae7-46ce-9ae0-178eb8a058a1
Uller, Tobias
2214fc35-45ec-457e-911b-4cd1d3c51492
Moczek, Armin
f57236ad-2ba3-4143-8cd7-389da62029dc
Watson, Richard
ce199dfc-d5d4-4edf-bd7b-f9e224c96c75
Brakefield, Paul
93d0185f-b9bf-4db0-9a58-ff02576389cb
Laland, Kevin
56efce7f-5ae7-46ce-9ae0-178eb8a058a1

Uller, Tobias, Moczek, Armin, Watson, Richard, Brakefield, Paul and Laland, Kevin (2018) Developmental bias and evolution: a regulatory network perspective. Genetics, 209 (4), 949-966. (doi:10.1534/genetics.118.300995).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Phenotypic variation is generated by the processes of development, with some variants arising more readily than others-a phenomenon known as "developmental bias." Developmental bias and natural selection have often been portrayed as alternative explanations, but this is a false dichotomy: developmental bias can evolve through natural selection, and bias and selection jointly influence phenotypic evolution. Here, we briefly review the evidence for developmental bias and illustrate how it is studied empirically. We describe recent theory on regulatory networks that explains why the influence of genetic and environmental perturbation on phenotypes is typically not uniform, and may even be biased toward adaptive phenotypic variation. We show how bias produced by developmental processes constitutes an evolving property able to impose direction on adaptive evolution and influence patterns of taxonomic and phenotypic diversity. Taking these considerations together, we argue that it is not sufficient to accommodate developmental bias into evolutionary theory merely as a constraint on evolutionary adaptation. The influence of natural selection in shaping developmental bias, and conversely, the influence of developmental bias in shaping subsequent opportunities for adaptation, requires mechanistic models of development to be expanded and incorporated into evolutionary theory. A regulatory network perspective on phenotypic evolution thus helps to integrate the generation of phenotypic variation with natural selection, leaving evolutionary biology better placed to explain how organisms adapt and diversify

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 19 April 2018
Published date: 1 August 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432580
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432580
ISSN: 1943-2631
PURE UUID: 8fbeee65-6ace-4cce-96f2-0e7faa86790b

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Date deposited: 19 Jul 2019 10:06
Last modified: 06 Oct 2020 17:09

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Contributors

Author: Tobias Uller
Author: Armin Moczek
Author: Richard Watson
Author: Paul Brakefield
Author: Kevin Laland

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