Ontogeny, phylogeny and evolution of form: An algorithmic approach

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A computer model that simulates general aspects of ontogeny is presented as a heuristic device for studying the relationship between ontogenetic changes and the evolution of morphologies. The model consists of a set of developmental rules limited to known cellular properties and activities of gene products; it assumes development to be an algorithmic and hierarchical process. Morphological patterns are generated through the interactions of developmental rules. Thus, by its very nature the model establishes pleiotropies and complex characters. To represent mutations, changes were introduced in the developmental rules. Phylogenetic analysis of mutant forms showed that morphology retained significant information about ancestry. Genetic parallelisms, as a rule, did not result in morphological parallelisms, because the effect of a given "genetic rule" is context-dependent. Morphological parallelisms that did arise were a consequence of different mutations that affected certain populations of cells in related ways. © 1986 Oxford University Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Frederik Nijhout, H; Wray, GA; Kremen, C; Teragawa, CK

Published Date

  • January 1, 1986

Published In

  • Systematic Zoology

Volume / Issue

  • 35 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 445 - 457

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/2413108

Citation Source

  • Scopus