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Elife. 2020 Feb 12;9. pii: e50103. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50103. [Epub ahead of print]

Developmental variability channels mouse molar evolution.

Author information

1
Laboratoire de Biologie et Modélisation de la Cellule, ENS de Lyon, Lyon, France.
2
1st Department of Medicine, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
3
Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive, Université Lyon 1, CNRS, VetAgro Sup, UMR 5558, Villeurbanne, France.
4
Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Évolutive, Université Lyon 1, CNRS, VetAgro Sup, UMR 5558, Villeurbanne, France.
5
Department of Histology and Embryology, Third Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.
6
Department of Developmental Biology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, The Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic.

Abstract

Do developmental systems preferentially produce certain types of variation that orient phenotypic evolution along preferred directions? At different scales, from the intra-population to the interspecific, the murine first upper molar shows repeated anterior elongation. Using a novel quantitative approach to compare the development of two mouse strains with short or long molars, we identified temporal, spatial and functional differences in tooth signaling center activity, that arise from differential tuning of the activation-inhibition mechanisms underlying tooth patterning. By tracing their fate, we could explain why only the upper first molar reacts via elongation of its anterior part. Despite a lack of genetic variation, individuals of the elongated strain varied in tooth length and the temporal dynamics of their signaling centers, highlighting the intrinsic instability of the upper molar developmental system. Collectively, these results reveal the variational properties of murine molar development that drive morphological evolution along a line of least resistance.

KEYWORDS:

developmental biology; evolutionary biology; mouse

PMID:
32048989
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.50103
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