, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 321-322
Date: 06 Mar 2012

Toward Tracing the Tangled Paths of Genes During Development

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How hereditary material is transformed into a myriad range of phenotypic diversity has preoccupied biologists for at least 150 years. Concerted efforts of many early theoretical and experimental geneticists and evolutionists on the topic led to the modern synthesis in the early 1930s. During this period, however, it was realized that all inherited variation is driven by mutations in the genetic material, and their phenotypic expression is mediated by complex developmental processes. Nonetheless, mechanisms involved in the genotype-development-phenotype link in relation to environment remained largely speculative for decades after the modern synthesis. Mysteries surrounding developmental phases are gradually being solved, largely due to advances in molecular and developmental biology.

Natural selection operates on individual phenotypes, ultimately affecting genes and their frequencies in populations. During this process, genetic, development, and phenotypic changes may occur simultaneous ...