Developmental sources of conservation and variation in the evolution of the primate eye.


Conserved developmental programs, such as the order of neurogenesis in the mammalian eye, suggest the presence of useful features for evolutionary stability and variability. The owl monkey, Aotus azarae, has developed a fully nocturnal retina in recent evolution. Description and quantification of cell cycle kinetics show that embryonic cytogenesis is extended in Aotus compared with the diurnal New World monkey Cebus apella. Combined with the conserved mammalian pattern of retinal cell specification, this single change in retinal progenitor cell proliferation can produce the multiple alterations of the nocturnal retina, including coordinated reduction in cone and ganglion cell numbers, increase in rod and rod bipolar numbers, and potentially loss of the fovea.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901484106

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@article{Dyer2009DevelopmentalSO, title={Developmental sources of conservation and variation in the evolution of the primate eye.}, author={Michael A. Dyer and Rodrigo A. P. Martins and Manoel L da Silva Filho and Jos{\'e} Augusto P.C. Muniz and Luiz Carlos de Lima Silveira and Constance L. Cepko and Barbara L. Finlay}, journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America}, year={2009}, volume={106 22}, pages={8963-8} }