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Genes as cues: phenotypic integration of genetic and epigenetic information from a Darwinian perspective
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology. Stockholm Univ, Dept Zool, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
Number of Authors: 3
2015 (English)In: Trends in Ecology & Evolution, ISSN 0169-5347, E-ISSN 1872-8383, Vol. 30, no 6, 327-333 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The development of multicellular organisms involves a delicate interplay between genetic and environmental influences. It is often useful to think of developmental systems as integrating available sources of information about current conditions to produce organisms. Genes and inherited physiology provide cues, as does the state of the environment during development. The integration systems themselves are under genetic control and subject to Darwinian selection, so we expect them to evolve to produce organisms that fit well with current ecological (including social) conditions. We argue for the scientific value of this explicitly informational perspective by providing detailed examples of how it can elucidate taxonomically diverse phenomena. We also present a general framework for linking genetic and phenotypic variation from an informational perspective. This application of Darwinian logic at the organismal level can elucidate genetic influences on phenotypic variation in novel and counterintuitive ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 30, no 6, 327-333 p.
Keyword [en]
development, information, genetic cues, epigenetic effects, environmental cues
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-119052DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2015.04.002ISI: 000356190300009OAI: diva2:846561
Available from: 2015-08-17 Created: 2015-07-27 Last updated: 2015-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Leimar, Olof
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