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The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited$
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Brett Calcott and Kim Sterelny

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262015240

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262015240.001.0001

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The Small Picture Approach to the Big Picture: Using DNA Sequences to Investigate the Diversification of Animal Body Plans

The Small Picture Approach to the Big Picture: Using DNA Sequences to Investigate the Diversification of Animal Body Plans

Chapter:
(p.271) 13 The Small Picture Approach to the Big Picture: Using DNA Sequences to Investigate the Diversification of Animal Body Plans
Source:
The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited
Author(s):

Lindell Bromham

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262015240.003.0014

This chapter is concerned with the Cambrian explosion. It considers only one particular kind of explanation for the Cambrian radiation: that major innovations in animal body plan were produced from relatively few genetic changes of large phenotypic effect. It investigates the developmental genetic hypothesis of the origin and maintenance of body plans. This chapter suggests that the genetic architecture underlying body plans was not set during the Cambrian and has been immutable since. It shows that the link between body plan and phylum can become blurry when the minor phyla are considered.

Keywords:   Cambrian radiation, animal body plan, developmental genetic hypothesis, phylum, phyla

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