Perspective: Evolution and detection of genetic robustness.


Robustness is the invariance of phenotypes in the face of perturbation. The robustness of phenotypes appears at various levels of biological organization, including gene expression, protein folding, metabolic flux, physiological homeostasis, development, and even organismal fitness. The mechanisms underlying robustness are diverse, ranging from thermodynamic stability at the RNA and protein level to behavior at the organismal level. Phenotypes can be robust either against heritable perturbations (e.g., mutations) or nonheritable perturbations (e.g., the weather). Here we primarily focus on the first kind of robustness--genetic robustness--and survey three growing avenues of research: (1) measuring genetic robustness in nature and in the laboratory; (2) understanding the evolution of genetic robustness: and (3) exploring the implications of genetic robustness for future evolution.

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@article{Visser2003PerspectiveEA, title={Perspective: Evolution and detection of genetic robustness.}, author={J. Arjan G. M. de Visser and Joachim Hermisson and G{\"{u}nter P. Wagner and Lauren Ancel Meyers and Homayoun Bagheri-Chaichian and Jeffrey L. Blanchard and Lin Chao and James M. Cheverud and Santiago F. Elena and Walter Fontana and Greg Gibson and Thomas Folkmann Hansen and David C. Krakauer and Richard C. Lewontin and Charles Ofria and Sean H. Rice and George von Dassow and Andreas Wagner and Michael Whitlock}, journal={Evolution; international journal of organic evolution}, year={2003}, volume={57 9}, pages={1959-72} }