Gene regulatory networks reused to build novel traits: co-option of an eye-related gene regulatory network in eye-like organs and red wing patches on insect wings is suggested by optix expression.

Co-option of the eye developmental gene regulatory network may have led to the appearance of novel functional traits on the wings of flies and butterflies. The first trait is a recently described wing organ in a species of extinct midge resembling the outer layers of the midge's own compound eye. The second trait is red pigment patches on Heliconius… CONTINUE READING