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The Origin of Animal Body Plans
A Study in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

$62.00 (P)

  • Date Published: September 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521779289

$ 62.00 (P)
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  • While neo-Darwinism has considerable explanatory power, it is widely recognized as lacking a component dealing with individual development, or ontogeny. This lack is particularly conspicuous when attempting to explain the evolutionary origin of the thirty-five or so animal body plans, and of the developmental trajectories that generate them. This significant work examines both the origin of body plans in particular and the evolution of animal development in general. Wallace Arthur ranges widely in his treatment, covering topics as diverse as comparative developmental genetics, selection theory, and Vendian/Cambrian fossils. He places particular emphasis on gene duplication, changes in spatio-temporal gene-expression patterns, internal selection, coevolution of interacting genes, and coadaptation. The book will be of particular interest to students and researchers in evolutionary biology, genetics, paleontology, and developmental biology.

    • There is currently no other book devoted to exploring possible evolutionary mechanisms underlying the origin of animal body plans
    • The book covers all biological levels of organization - from molecules and cells through organisms and populations to lineages and clades
    • The book takes a novel view of how natural selection modifies the genetic architecture of development: there is a particular emphasis on the concept of internal selection
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...excellent new book on evolution and development. He steers a pragmatic middle course between two complementary approaches to 'evo-devo'." Heredity

    "Arthur's book is an outstanding contribution to unifying developmental and evolutionary biology. The integration of popular genetics and ecology is particularly strong, and begins to fill a big gap in literature. Arthur does not shy away from making predictions, and rarely misses an opportunity to point out fruitful areas for future work. His writing is clear, concise, and insightful, making the book a delight to read. This book is required reading for anyone interested in the evolution of development." Gregory Wray, State University of New York, Stony Brook

    "The Origin of Animal Body Plans is an attractive, well-articulated and highly readable argument for expanding our current awareness of evolutionary processes. It helps to usher in a fully-fledged discipline of Evolutionary Developmental Biology which, among other things, emphasizes the importance of 'internal selection.'" Alessandro Minelli, University of Padua

    "...it takes a brave soul to tackle the subject. Authors venturing into this area must have a sound command of the breadth of several disciplines, combined with the depth that a historical perspective offers. They must be able to use language flawlessly...Wallace Arthur, though, scoops the pool...He sets out what he is going to say, says it with precision, and moves on. Concepts are summarized in handy tables and diagrams. No metaphysics, no sliding panels, Arthur just tells it like it is. For those who have found this subject daunting, this is the book for you." Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

    "Neo-Darwinism, to Arthur, is not 'wrong' but it is incomplete and 'horribly lopsided'. This book helps to remedy that situation." Reports

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521779289
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 179 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.646kg
    • contains: 85 b/w illus. 17 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    Part I. Introduction:
    1.1 A developmental approach to an evolutionary problem
    1.2 The early history of the animal kingdom
    1.3 Alternative strategies
    1.4 Creation versus destruction
    1.5 Systematics and the concept of natural classification
    1.6 Micromutation versus macromutation
    1.7 Developing organisms as inverted cones
    Part II. What is a Body Plan?:
    2.1 Body plans and taxonomic levels
    2.2 Body plans, cladograms and homology
    2.3 Body plans and embryology
    2.4 Body plans, genes and mutations
    2.5 Body plans, adaptation and environments
    Part III. Patterns of Body Plan Origins:
    3.1 Strategy
    3.2 Patterns of metazoan inter-relationships
    3.3 Early fossils: from cladograms to trees
    3.4 Bringing back morphology
    3.5 Paleoecology and possible adaptive scenarios
    Part IV. Evolutionary Developmental Biology:
    4.1 From pattern to mechanism
    4.2 The aims of Evolutionary Developmental Biology
    4.3 A brief history
    4.4 Is there a theory of development?
    Part V. Developmental Mechanisms: Cells and Signals:
    5.1 Strategy
    5.2 Cellular processes and architecture
    5.3 Short-range signals: cell-cell contacts
    5.4 Mid-range signals and the nature of 'morphogens'
    5.5 Long-range signals and pan-organismic co-ordination
    5.6 Patterns of interconnection: developmental programmes
    Part VI. Developmental Mechanisms: Genes:
    6.1 Introduction
    6.2 Overview of the genetics of Drosophila body axes
    6.3 The Antennapedia and Bithorax complexes
    6.4 The hedgehog gene and limb development
    6.5 Developmental programmes and an evolutionary message
    Part VII. Comparative Developmental Genetics:
    7.1 From development to evolution
    7.2 Phylogeny of Hox genes
    7.3 Dorso-ventral polarity in arthropods and chordates
    7.4 Limb formation, hedgehog, and the nature of homology
    7.5 Phylogeny of cadherin genes
    7.6 Emergent evolutionary messages
    Part VIII. Gene Duplication and Mutation:
    8.1 Introduction
    8.2 The creation of new genes
    8.3 Mutation: the classical approach
    8.4 Mutation: a developmental approach
    8.5 Mutation and the evolution of development
    Part IX. The Spread of Variant Ontogenies in Populations:
    9.1 Introduction
    9.2 Population genetic models of directional selection
    9.3 Internal selection
    9.4 The origin of body plans: a population perspective
    9.5 Types of genetic change
    9.6 Drift, drive and directed mutation
    Part X. Creation Versus Destruction:
    10.1 A fourth 'eternal metaphor'?
    10.2 Mutationists v. selectionists: a protracted debate
    10.3 The structure of morphospace
    10.4 Creation and destruction
    Part XI. Ontogeny and Phylogeny Re-Visited:
    11.1 Mapping the two hierarchies
    11.2 From two hierarchies to six
    11.3 An important general pattern
    11.4 Larval forms and complex life histories
    11.5 Phenotypic complexity and evolutionary 'explosions'
    Part XII. Prospect: Expanding the Synthesis:
    12.1 Neither boredom nor heresy
    12.2 Completing the evolutionary circle
    12.3 The main themes of Evolutionary Developmental Biology
    12.4 Paths into the future
    References
    Index.

  • Author

    Wallace Arthur, University of Sunderland

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