Theories, laws, and models in evo‐devo

  title={Theories, laws, and models in evo‐devo},
  author={Michael K. Richardson},
  journal={Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution},
  pages={36 - 61}
  • M. Richardson
  • Published 27 September 2021
  • Biology
  • Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Abstract Evolutionary developmental biology (evo‐devo) is the study of the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Here, I review some of the theories, models, and laws in evo‐devo, past and present. Nineteenth‐century evo‐devo was dominated by recapitulation theory and archetypes. It also gave us germ layer theory, the vertebral theory of the skull, floral organs as modified leaves, and the “inverted invertebrate” theory, among others. Newer theories and models include the frameshift theory… 

Figures from this paper

Ontogeny, Phylotypic Periods, Paedomorphosis, and Ontogenetic Systematics
It is shown that a major revision of the main terms which are associated with the “ontogeny and phylogeny/evolution” field is urgently necessarily needed, and the concept of ontogenetic systematics is hereby refined.
Discrete embryonic character variation uncovers hidden ecological adaptations in lacertid lizards
Embryogenesis is the first step in the ontogenetic life journey of any individual, and is thus a starting point for natural selection to cause evolutionary change, and provides a platform to explore superficially hidden evolutionary adaptations of all organisms on Earth.
Expression Pattern of nos1 in the Developing Nervous System of Ray-Finned Fish
To investigate variations in the NO system across ray-finned fish phylogeny, data reported here highlight both conserved expression domains and species-specific nos1 territories, confirming the ancestry of this signaling system and expanding the number of biological processes implicated in NO activities.
Beyond recapitulation: Past, present, and future.


Special Feature: The evolution of evo-devo biology
To highlight this emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology, the PNAS Editorial Board has sponsored a special feature on Evolutionary Developmental Biology, which contains eight Perspective articles and a review that examine evo-devo's progress to date, as well as 15 research articles that add new information and focus on the most recent evo -devo biology trends.
The Body Plan Concept and Its Centrality in Evo-Devo
  • K. Willmore
  • Geology
    Evolution: Education and Outreach
  • 2012
Concepts such as the nature of phyla, the Cambrian explosion, constraint, evolvability, and results from recent research on gene regulatory networks with the much older concept of the body plan are integrated.
Craniofacial Development and the Evolution of the Vertebrates: the Old Problems on a New Background
A modern version of the germ-layer theory is defined in terms of the conserved differentiation of cell lineages, which is again questioned from the vantage of evolutionary developmental biology.
Selection on Phalanx Development in the Evolution of the Bird Wing
It is suggested that the phenotype of the Archaeopteryx lithographica wing is also consistent with phalanx loss, and the results support a gradualist model of evolution based on tinkering with developmental gene expression.
How can recapitulation be reconciled with modern concepts of evolution?
The conserved embryonic pattern does not reflect an ancestral adult morphology but appears to have arisen primarily as an embodiment of developmental constraints established through evolutionary processes.
Inverting the hourglass: quantitative evidence against the phylotypic stage in vertebrate development
It is hypothesize that numerous tightly delimited developmental modules exist during the mid–embryonic period and the high level of timing changes between these modules may be an important evolutionary mechanism giving rise to the diversity of vertebrates.
Haeckel's ABC of evolution and development
Haeckel's work is re‐examine and he is seen as the father of a sequence‐based phylogenetic embryology, and his embryo drawings are important as phylogenetic hypotheses, teaching aids, and evidence for evolution.
Nervous systems and scenarios for the invertebrate-to-vertebrate transition
  • N. Holland
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2016
Diversity in diversity makes it challenging to establish plausible homologies between component parts (e.g. nervous system regions) and the current understanding of the relation between genotype and phenotype is too preliminary to permit us to convert gene network data into structural features in any simple way.
Owen revisited: a reappraisal of morphology in evolutionary biology
A new analysis within the framework of developmental genetics provides both raw data and theoretical support to the “old” morphology and suggests a new, more predictive, approach to the concept of