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Evol Dev. 2015 May-Jun;17(3):198-219. doi: 10.1111/ede.12125.

The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Indiana University, 915 East 3rd Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.
2
School of Integrative Biology and Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, 505 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.
3
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, UK.
4
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
5
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA.
6
Department of Biology, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. West Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada.
7
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Stony Brook University, 412 Life Sciences Building, Stony Brook, NY, 11794-5215, USA.
8
University of Cologne, Institute of Developmental Biology, Biocenter, Zülpicher Straße 47b, D-50674, Cologne, Germany.
9
Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Avenue Docteur Penfield, Montréal Québec, H3A 1B1, Canada.
10
Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão, Travessa 14, no. 101, 05508-090, São Paulo, Brazil.
11
Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University, OH, USA.
12
Biology Department, Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University, 3150 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA, 94920, USA.
13
Department of MCD Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
14
Department of Biology, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081, USA and Biotechnology Institute, University of Helsinki, 00014, Helsinki, Finland.
15
Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA, B3H 4R2, USA.
16
Department of Philosophy, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, USA.
17
Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, NC, 27708, USA.
18
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 103610, Gainesville, FL, 32610, USA.
19
Marine Biological Laboratory, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole, MA, 02543, USA.
20
Plant and Microbial Biology, Department of Integrative Biology, University and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
21
Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, FK9 4LA, Scotland, UK.
22
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, BioLabs 4103, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA.

Abstract

Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) has undergone dramatic transformations since its emergence as a distinct discipline. This paper aims to highlight the scope, power, and future promise of evo-devo to transform and unify diverse aspects of biology. We articulate key questions at the core of eleven biological disciplines-from Evolution, Development, Paleontology, and Neurobiology to Cellular and Molecular Biology, Quantitative Genetics, Human Diseases, Ecology, Agriculture and Science Education, and lastly, Evolutionary Developmental Biology itself-and discuss why evo-devo is uniquely situated to substantially improve our ability to find meaningful answers to these fundamental questions. We posit that the tools, concepts, and ways of thinking developed by evo-devo have profound potential to advance, integrate, and unify biological sciences as well as inform policy decisions and illuminate science education. We look to the next generation of evolutionary developmental biologists to help shape this process as we confront the scientific challenges of the 21st century.

PMID:
25963198
DOI:
10.1111/ede.12125
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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