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Published March 18, 2011 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Evolution of Gene Regulatory Networks Controlling Body Plan Development


Evolutionary change in animal morphology results from alteration of the functional organization of the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that control development of the body plan. A major mechanism of evolutionary change in GRN structure is alteration of cis-regulatory modules that determine regulatory gene expression. Here we consider the causes and consequences of GRN evolution. Although some GRN subcircuits are of great antiquity, other aspects are highly flexible and thus in any given genome more recent. This mosaic view of the evolution of GRN structure explains major aspects of evolutionary process, such as hierarchical phylogeny and discontinuities of paleontological change.

Additional Information

© 2011 Elsevier Inc. Available online 17 March 2011. We gratefully acknowledge support for this work from NIH Grant HD-037105 and from NSF Grant IOS-0641398.

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Accepted Version - nihms283277.pdf


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