This chapter addresses the possible role of phenotypic plasticity in macroevolution. It analyzes how evolutionary biologists are now using the concept of plasticity to expand the horizons of the Modern Synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s, and what role plasticity may play in the shaping of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. The chapter considers the issues linked to the mechanics of plasticity in terms of molecular basis (genes, proteins, and hormones involved), as well as of epigenetic effects and development. It presents a discussion of the modern sense of phenotypic and genotypic accommodation, and suggests that the phenotypic plasticity will significantly elaborate the way organic evolution takes place.
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