UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Robustness and evolution: concepts, insights and challenges from a developmental model system


Félix, M A; Wagner, A (2008). Robustness and evolution: concepts, insights and challenges from a developmental model system. Heredity, 100(2):132-140.

Abstract

Robustness, the persistence of an organismal trait under perturbations, is a ubiquitous property of complex living systems. We here discuss key concepts related to robustness with examples from vulva development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We emphasize the need to be clear about the perturbations a trait is (or is not) robust to. We discuss two prominent mechanistic causes of robustness, namely redundancy and distributed robustness. We also discuss possible evolutionary causes of robustness, one of which does not involve natural selection. To better understand robustness is of paramount importance for understanding organismal evolution. Part of the reason is that highly robust systems can accumulate cryptic variation that can serve as a source of new adaptations and evolutionary innovations. We point to some key challenges in improving our understanding of robustness.

Robustness, the persistence of an organismal trait under perturbations, is a ubiquitous property of complex living systems. We here discuss key concepts related to robustness with examples from vulva development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We emphasize the need to be clear about the perturbations a trait is (or is not) robust to. We discuss two prominent mechanistic causes of robustness, namely redundancy and distributed robustness. We also discuss possible evolutionary causes of robustness, one of which does not involve natural selection. To better understand robustness is of paramount importance for understanding organismal evolution. Part of the reason is that highly robust systems can accumulate cryptic variation that can serve as a source of new adaptations and evolutionary innovations. We point to some key challenges in improving our understanding of robustness.

Citations

79 citations in Web of Science®
85 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

48 downloads since deposited on 17 Sep 2008
22 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Biochemistry
07 Faculty of Science > Department of Biochemistry
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:17 Sep 2008 12:48
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:28
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0018-067X
Publisher DOI:10.1038/sj.hdy.6800915
PubMed ID:17167519
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3745

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 1MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations