How development may direct evolution

Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):353-370 (2003)
A framework is presented in which the role ofdevelopmental rules in phenotypic evolution canbe studied for some simple situations. Usingtwo different implicit models of development,characterized by different developmental mapsfrom genotypes to phenotypes, it is shown bysimulation that developmental rules and driftcan result in directional phenotypic evolutionwithout selection. For both models thesimulations show that the critical parameterthat drives the final phenotypic distributionis the cardinality of the set of genotypes thatmap to each phenotype. Details of thedevelopmental map do not matter. If phenotypesare randomly assigned to genotypes, the lastresult can also be proved analytically.
Keywords adaptive landscape  adaptive walks  developmental evolutionary biology  evolution and development  evolutionary developmental biology  hypercube models
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