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Int J Dev Biol. 2003;47(7-8):705-13.

Evo-Devo: the long and winding road.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Faculty of Biology, University of Barcelona, Spain.


Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) aims to unveil how developmental processes and mechanisms become modified during evolution and how from these changes the past and present biodiversity arose. The first wave of Evo-Devo identified a conserved set of toolkits common to most metazoans. The present second wave has changed gear and aims to identify how genes and modules were used differently through evolution to build the past and present morphological diversity. The burgeoning third wave is introducing experimental testing of predictions drawn from the first and second waves. Here we review some of the hottest topics, contributions and insights of present Evo-Devo related to basic concepts and paradigms of evolutionary research. Future directions of Evo-Devo are also highlighted; in other words, Quo Vadis, Evo-Devo?

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