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Nature. 2003 Aug 21;424(6951):935-8.

Regulatory evolution of shavenbaby/ovo underlies multiple cases of morphological parallelism.

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  • 1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA.

Abstract

Cases of convergent evolution that involve changes in the same developmental pathway, called parallelism, provide evidence that a limited number of developmental changes are available to evolve a particular phenotype. To our knowledge, in no case are the genetic changes underlying morphological convergence understood. However, morphological convergence is not generally assumed to imply developmental parallelism. Here we investigate a case of convergence of larval morphology in insects and show that the loss of particular trichomes, observed in one species of the Drosophila melanogaster species group, has independently evolved multiple times in the distantly related D. virilis species group. We present genetic and gene expression data showing that regulatory changes of the shavenbaby/ovo (svb/ovo) gene underlie all independent cases of this morphological convergence. Our results indicate that some developmental regulators might preferentially accumulate evolutionary changes and that morphological parallelism might therefore be more common than previously appreciated.

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PMID:
12931187
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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