Size and shape: the developmental regulation of static allometry in insects

  title={Size and shape: the developmental regulation of static allometry in insects},
  author={Alexander W. Shingleton and W. Anthony Frankino and T. Flatt and H. Frederik Nijhout and Douglas J. Emlen},
Among all organisms, the size of each body part or organ scales with overall body size, a phenomenon called allometry. The study of shape and form has attracted enormous interest from biologists, but the genetic, developmental and physiological mechanisms that control allometry and the proportional growth of parts have remained elusive. Recent progress in our understanding of body‐size regulation provides a new synthetic framework for thinking about the mechanisms and the evolution of… 

Developmental model of static allometry in holometabolous insects

A mathematical description of the nutritional control of body and organ size in Drosophila melanogaster is formulated and used to explore how the developmental regulators of size influence static allometry to identify developmental processes upon which evolution may act to alter scaling relationships.

Network‐regulated organ allometry: The developmental regulation of morphological scaling

  • I. VeaA. Shingleton
  • Environmental Science
    Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Developmental biology
  • 2020
Testing the hypothesis that covariation in trait size can be generated by network‐regulated scaling mechanisms that respond to changes in the growth of individual traits requires connecting mechanisms elucidated in the laboratory with patterns of scaling observed in the natural world.

Tipping the scales: Evolution of the allometric slope independent of average trait size

This work uses artificial selection to demonstrate that the slope of a morphological scaling relationship between an organ and body size can evolve independently of mean organ or body size.

Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila

How simple experimental manipulation of diet can be used to produce the full range of body size in insects is described, allowing an estimation of the full scaling relationship for any given pair of traits, and a complete description of how shape covaries with size is described.

Growth and size control during development

This review will focus mostly on work carried out in Drosophila to try to tease apart potential mechanisms and identify routes for further investigation.

Body size variation in insects: a macroecological perspective

  • S. ChownK. Gaston
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2010
This review provides a critical and synthetic overview of body size variation in insects from a predominantly macroecological (large‐scale temporal and spatial) perspective and focuses on evolutionary trends, including gigantism, Cope's rule and the rates at which size change has taken place.

Unravelling the diversity of mechanisms through which nutrition regulates body size in insects.

  • T. KoyamaC. Mirth
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Current opinion in insect science
  • 2018

Allometry, Scaling and Ontogeny of Form-An Introduction to the Symposium.

The time was right to bring diverse practitioners of allometry together in a symposium to discuss their most recent work in the hope of forging new functional, conceptual, and collaborative connections among established and novice practitioners.

The Origin of Novelty Through the Evolution of Scaling Relationships.

It is shown that an allometry equation derived from Gompertz growth kinetics can accurately reconstruct complex non-linear allometries, and can be used to deduce the growth Kinetics of the parts being compared, and the relationship between ontogenetic and static allometry.

Many ways to be small: different environmental regulators of size generate distinct scaling relationships in Drosophila melanogaster

Examining the patterns of scaling in Drosophila melanogaster subjected to variation in three environmental regulators of size indicates that trait size is not simply a read-out of body size, but that different environmental factors may regulate body and trait size, and the relationship between the two, through different developmental mechanisms.



The developmental basis for allometry in insects.

Three models to explain the second process of static allometry in insects are presented and it is suggested that hormones are the messengers of size information.

Competition among body parts in the development and evolution of insect morphology.

  • H. NijhoutD. Emlen
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1998
In the case of beetle horns, the tradeoff in size is manifest as a significant negative genetic correlation among the involved body parts and constitutes a developmental source of genetic constraint on the evolution of body form.

The control of body size in insects.

Genotype to Phenotype: Physiological Control of Trait Size and Scaling in Insects1

This work summarizes four mechanisms known to influence either the rate or the duration of cell proliferation within developing structures, and suggests how mutations in these mechanisms could affect the relative sizes of adult body parts in insects.

A quantitative analysis of the mechanism that controls body size in Manduca sexta

A quantitative description of the empirical data on body size determination that accurately predicts body size for diverse genetic strains is developed and shows that body size is fully determined by three fundamental parameters: the growth rate, thecritical weight, and the interval between the critical weight and the secretion of ecdysone.

The developmental and physiological basis of body size evolution in an insect

It is shown that three of the five processes that determine adult body size changed during this period, while two remained constant, and changes in these three developmental processes completely account for the observed evolutionary change in body size.

Genetic control of size in Drosophila.

Recent evidence from vertebrates and particularly from Drosophila that implicates insulin/insulin-like growth factor-I and other growth pathways in the control of cell, organ and body size is reviewed.

The development and evolution of exaggerated morphologies in insects.

It is argued that scaling relationships are best viewed as reaction norms, and that the evolution of exaggerated morphological traits results from genetic changes in the slope and/or shape of these scaling relationships.

Mechanisms of size control.

Matters of Scale: Positive Allometry and the Evolution of Male Dimorphisms

These findings question the currently held view that beetle horn dimorphisms showcase the importance of developmental independence in the evolution of diversity, and use predictions derived from allometric modeling to test for the existence of reprogramming thresholds.