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Bioessays. 1992 Apr;14(4):281-7.

Observing development through evolutionary eyes: a practical approach.

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Department of Genetics, University of Leicester, UK.


An argument is made that only through a detailed comparison of mutational mechanisms underlying the evolution of the genetic systems governing development, can the 'logic' of individual development be fully comprehended. To do this, it is essential to choose two or more genes (or their products) that interact in the establishment of a given function, and to compare the molecular basis of that interaction in closely related species. The rationale to this approach arises from observations of molecular co-evolution between interacting partners involved with given functions which have led to species specificity in the manner in which such functions are effected. Molecular coevolution reveals that divergence in sequence can be tolerated whilst biological functions are maintained, not because it is neutral and dispensable but because successful, compensatory changes can evolve in eukaryotic genomes that are in continuous states of flux.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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