The genetics and evo–devo of butterfly wing patterns

  title={The genetics and evo–devo of butterfly wing patterns},
  author={Patr{\'i}cia Beldade and Paul M. Brakefield},
  journal={Nature Reviews Genetics},
Understanding how the spectacular diversity of colour patterns on butterfly wings is shaped by natural selection, and how particular pattern elements are generated, has been the focus of both evolutionary and developmental biologists. The growing field of evolutionary developmental biology has now begun to provide a link between genetic variation and the phenotypes that are produced by developmental processes and that are sorted by natural selection. Butterfly wing patterns are set to become… 
Heliconius wing patterns: an evo-devo model for understanding phenotypic diversity
Heliconius is a very promising evo-devo model for the study of adaptive change and fine-scale genetic mapping studies have shown that a shared toolkit of genes is used to produce both convergent and divergent phenotypes.
Multiple approaches to study color pattern evolution in butterflies
The different approaches to answer both proximate and ultimate questions about butterfly wing pattern evolution are reviewed, and future research directions in a field that has the potential to become truly integrative are highlighted.
The power of evo-devo to explore evolutionary constraints: experiments with butterfly eyespots.
The initial selection experiment performed over twenty-five generations has shown that in contrast to predictions based on shared genetical and developmental properties, two butterfly eyespots on the same wing surface can be freely uncoupled from each other with respect to their pattern of relative sizes.
The Functional Basis of Wing Patterning in Heliconius Butterflies: The Molecules Behind Mimicry
Understanding of the molecular basis of Heliconius mimicry is now providing important insights into a variety of additional evolutionary phenomena, including the origin of supergenes, the interplay between constraint and evolvability, the genetic basis of convergence, the potential for introgression to facilitate adaptation, the mechanisms of hybrid speciation in animals, and the process of ecological speciation.
Evo-devo and constraints on selection.
Modularity, individuality, and evo-devo in butterfly wings
It is argued that among-eyespot correlations are unlikely to have constrained the evolutionary diversification of butterfly wing patterns but might be important when only limited time is available for adaptive evolution to occur.
Development and the Genetics of Evolutionary Change Within Insect Species
Several case studies in which artificial selection experiments in insects have led to divergent morphologies and several studies of phenotypic plasticity where multidisciplinary approaches are also beginning to reveal more about how developmental processes are modulated are reviewed.
CHAPTER 6. Butterfly wing pattern evolution: insights from comparative analysis of the eyespot developmental network
The results demonstrate differential co-option of conserved developmental genes during the evolution of butterfly wing patterns and suggest that the mechanisms of eyespot development are flexible, and open to tinkering at the level of the loss and gain of regulating genes.
Conserved developmental processes and the formation of evolutionary novelties: examples from butterfly wings
It is discussed how eyespot mutants with disturbed embryonic development may help elucidate the genetic pathways involved in eyespot formation, and how venation mutants with altered eyespot patterns might shed light on mechanisms of eyespot development.


Structure of a character and the evolution of butterfly eyespot patterns.
The descriptions of both the development of eyespots and the genetic variation for eyespot traits in an African butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, are used here to discuss the most appropriate ways of applying the character concept to the evolution of butterfly eyespot patterns.
Butterfly wings: the evolution of development of colour patterns
The diversity in colour patterns on butterfly wings provides great potential for understanding how developmental mechanisms may be modulated in the evolution of adaptive traits. In particular, we
Development, plasticity and evolution of butterfly eyespot patterns
Species comparisons and selection experiments suggest that the evolution of eyespot patterns can occur rapidly through modulation of different stages of this pathway, and requires only single, or very few, changes in regulatory genes.
Butterfly wing patterns
Research on the tropical butterfly, Bicyclus anynana, is described, including artificial selection of lines with different patterns of wing eyespots followed by grafting experiments on the lines to examine the phenotypic and genetic differences in terms of developmental mechanisms.
The evolution–development interface and advances with the eyespot patterns of Bicyclus butterflies
How data on the developmental genetics of eyespot traits can help in the description and analysis of evolutionary constraints is discussed.
Pattern formation in colour on butterfly wings.
  • V. French
  • Biology
    Current opinion in genetics & development
  • 1997
Pattern formation and eyespot determination in butterfly wings.
Eyespots, which form from discrete developmental organizers, are marked by Distal-less gene expression, and appear to be generated by a process similar to, and perhaps evolved from, proximodistal pattern formation in insect appendages.