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Phenotypic Novelty

We explore the origins of phenotypic novelty in evolution using a variety of approaches. One of our preferred model systems is the vertebrate limb. How, for instance, do new digits arise in evolution, or how are they lost? Is this a gradual, continuous process? Is it a mutational event? What is the role of gene regulatory interactions? Are non-genetic parameters of development involved? What is the role of the environment? Are evolutionary variation and innovation the same? These and other questions regarding the evolution of novelty guide specific research projects, such as the origins of vertebrate polydactyly, and can also be applied to other structures, such as the wingless phenotype in ants. 

 

 

Recent publications:

Favé, M-J., R. A. Johnson, S. Cover, S. Handschuh, B. D. Metscher, G. B. Müller, S. Gopalan, and E. Abouheif. 2015. Past Climate Change on Sky Islands Drives Novelty in a Core Developmental Gene Network and Its Phenotype. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 1–21. doi:10.1186/s12862-015-0448-4.

Lange, A, H L Nemeschkal, and G. B. Müller. 2014. Biased Polyphenism in Polydactylous Cats Carrying a Single Point Mutation: the Hemingway Model for Digit Novelty. Evolutionary Biology 41 (December): 262–75. doi:10.1007/s11692-013-9267-y.

Nuño de la Rosa, L, G. B. Müller, and B D Metscher. 2014. The Lateral Mesodermal Divide: an Epigenetic Model of the Origin of Paired Fins. Evolution & Development 16 (1): 38–48. doi:10.1111/ede.12061.

Čapek, D., B. D. Metscher, and G. B. Müller. 2013. Thumbs Down: a Molecular-Morphogenetic Approach to Avian Digit Homology. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution 322 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1002/jez.b.22545.

Peterson, T, and G. B. Müller. 2013. What Is Evolutionary Novelty? Process Versus Character Based Definitions. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution 320 (6): 345–50. doi:10.1002/jez.b.22508.

Müller, G. B. 2010. Epigenetic Innovation. In: Evolution - The Extended Synthesis, edited by M. Pigliucci and G. B. Müller, 307–32. Cambridge (MA): MIT Press.

Müller, G. B., and S A Newman. 2005. The Innovation Triad: An EvoDevo Agenda. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution 304 (6): 487–503. doi:10.1002/jez.b.21081.

Newman, S A, and G. B. Müller. 2005. Origination and Innovation in the Vertebrate Limb Skeleton: An Epigenetic Perspective. Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution 304 (6): 593–609. doi:10.1002/jez.b.21066.

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