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Gene Regulatory Networks and the Evolution of Animal Body Plans

Davidson, Eric H. and Erwin, Douglas H. (2006) Gene Regulatory Networks and the Evolution of Animal Body Plans. Science, 311 (5762). pp. 796-800. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.1113832.

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Development of the animal body plan is controlled by large gene regulatory networks (GRNs), and hence evolution of body plans must depend upon change in the architecture of developmental GRNs. However, these networks are composed of diverse components that evolve at different rates and in different ways. Because of the hierarchical organization of developmental GRNs, some kinds of change affect terminal properties of the body plan such as occur in speciation, whereas others affect major aspects of body plan morphology. A notable feature of the paleontological record of animal evolution is the establishment by the Early “Cambrian of virtually all phylum-level body plans. We identify a class of GRN component, the kernels” of the network, which, because of their developmental role and their particular internal structure, are most impervious to change. Conservation of phyletic body plans may have been due to the retention since pre-Cambrian time of GRN kernels, which underlie development of major body parts.

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Additional Information:© 2006 American Association for the Advancement of Science. E.H.D. acknowledges support from NASA grant NAG2-1587, U.S. Department of Energy grant DE-FG02-03ER63584, and NIH grant HD37105. D.H.E. acknowledges the Packard Foundation and the Santa Fe Institute. We thank A. H. Knoll, D. Krakauer, E. V. Rothernberg, M. Levine, and four anonymous reviewers for useful comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-FG02-03ER63584
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Santa Fe InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5762
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141119-103002979
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51956
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Nov 2014 23:30
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:18

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