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Evo-devo and the search for homology (“sameness”) in biological systems


Rutishauser, Rolf; Moline, Philip (2005). Evo-devo and the search for homology (“sameness”) in biological systems. Theory in biosciences = Theorie in den Biowissenschaften, 124(2):213-241.

Abstract

Developmental biology and evolutionary studies have merged into evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo”). This synthesis already influenced and still continues to change the conceptual framework of structural biology. One of the cornerstones of structural biology is the concept of homology. But the search for homology ("sameness”) of biological structures depends on our favourite perspectives (axioms, paradigms). Five levels of homology ("sameness”) can be identified in the literature, although they overlap to some degree: (i) serial homology (homonomy) within modular organisms, (ii) historical homology (synapomorphy), which is taken as the only acceptable homology by many biologists, (iii) underlying homology (i.e., parallelism) in closely related taxa, (iv) deep evolutionary homology due to the "same” master genes in distantly related phyla, and (v) molecular homology exclusively at gene level. The following essay gives emphasis on the heuristic advantages of seemingly opposing perspectives in structural biology, with examples mainly from comparative plant morphology. The organization of the plant body in the majority of angiosperms led to the recognition of the classical root-shoot model. In some lineages bauplan rules were transcended during evolution and development. This resulted in morphological misfits such as the Podostemaceae, peculiar eudicots adapted to submerged river rocks. Their transformed "roots” and "shoots” fit only to a limited degree into the classical model which is based on either-or thinking. It has to be widened into a continuum model by taking over elements of fuzzy logic and fractal geometry to accommodate for lineages such as the Podostemaceae

Abstract

Developmental biology and evolutionary studies have merged into evolutionary developmental biology ("evo-devo”). This synthesis already influenced and still continues to change the conceptual framework of structural biology. One of the cornerstones of structural biology is the concept of homology. But the search for homology ("sameness”) of biological structures depends on our favourite perspectives (axioms, paradigms). Five levels of homology ("sameness”) can be identified in the literature, although they overlap to some degree: (i) serial homology (homonomy) within modular organisms, (ii) historical homology (synapomorphy), which is taken as the only acceptable homology by many biologists, (iii) underlying homology (i.e., parallelism) in closely related taxa, (iv) deep evolutionary homology due to the "same” master genes in distantly related phyla, and (v) molecular homology exclusively at gene level. The following essay gives emphasis on the heuristic advantages of seemingly opposing perspectives in structural biology, with examples mainly from comparative plant morphology. The organization of the plant body in the majority of angiosperms led to the recognition of the classical root-shoot model. In some lineages bauplan rules were transcended during evolution and development. This resulted in morphological misfits such as the Podostemaceae, peculiar eudicots adapted to submerged river rocks. Their transformed "roots” and "shoots” fit only to a limited degree into the classical model which is based on either-or thinking. It has to be widened into a continuum model by taking over elements of fuzzy logic and fractal geometry to accommodate for lineages such as the Podostemaceae

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Statistics and Probability
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Applied Mathematics
Language:English
Date:1 November 2005
Deposited On:23 Oct 2018 14:32
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 02:33
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1431-7613
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02814485
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencespringer101007BF02814485 (Library Catalogue)

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