Evolution and development: some insights from evolutionary theory

Authors
Citation
Jr. David, Evolution and development: some insights from evolutionary theory, AN AC BRASI, 73(3), 2001, pp. 385-395
Citations number
33
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Multidisciplinary
Journal title
ANAIS DA ACADEMIA BRASILEIRA DE CIENCIAS
ISSN journal
0001-3765 → ACNP
Volume
73
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
385 - 395
Database
ISI
SICI code
0001-3765(200109)73:3<385:EADSIF>2.0.ZU;2-O
Abstract
Developmental biology and evolutionary biology are both mature integrative disciplines which started in the 19th century and then followed parallel an d independent scientific pathways, Recently, a genetical component has step ped into both disciplines (developmental genetics and evolutionary genetics ) pointing out the need for future convergent maturation. Indeed, the Evo-D evo approach is becoming popular among developmental biologists, based on t he facts that distant groups share a common ancestry, that precise phylogen ies can be worked out and that homologous genes often play similar roles du ring the development of very different organisms. In this essay, I try to show that the real future of Evo-Devo thinking is s till broader. The evolutionary theory is a set of diverse concepts which ca n and should be used in any biological field. Evolutionary thinking trains to ask, <<why>> questions and to provide logical and plausible answers. It can shed some light on a diversity of general problems such as how to disti nguish homologies from analogies, the costs and benefits of multicellularit y, the origin of novel structures (e.g. the head), or the evolution of sexu al reproduction. In the next decade, we may expect a progressive convergenc e between developmental genetics and quantitative genetics.