The Role of Developmental Genetics in Understanding Homology and Morphological Evolution in Plants

  title={The Role of Developmental Genetics in Understanding Homology and Morphological Evolution in Plants},
  author={M. Alejandra Jaramillo and Elena M. Kramer},
  journal={International Journal of Plant Sciences},
  pages={61 - 72}
Homology assessments are critical to comparative biological studies. Although gene expression data have been proposed as instrumental for defining homologous relationships, several lines of evidence suggest that this type of data can be misleading if used in isolation. The correspondence between the homology of genes and that of structures is not simple, and conclusions can be derived only after careful examination of all available data. For instance, the MADS‐box gene family is one of the best… 

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Four examples – three from plants and one from animals – demonstrate that homologous developmental mechanisms can regulate a range of morphological relations including analogy, homoplasy and examples of uncertain homology.

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These findings suggest that the AqAP3-3 lineage underwent progressive subfunctionalization within the order Ranunculales, ultimately yielding a specific role in petal identity that has probably been conserved, in stark contrast with the multiple independent origins predicted by botanical theories.

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