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Parallelism as the pattern and process of mesoevolution Ehab Abouheif

Summary: Parallelism as the pattern and process of mesoevolution
Ehab Abouheif
Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3A 1B1
Correspondence (email: ehab.abouheif@mcgill.ca)
Over the last decade, evolutionary developmental biologists
have increased the phylogenetic resolution of their studies
from ``coarse'' comparisons between phyla and other distantly
related taxa to ``fine'' comparisons between closely related
species (Pennisi 2002; Wilkins 2002). This increase in phylo-
genetic resolution has led to illuminating discoveries about the
developmental genetic basis of parallelism (Wray 2007).
Parallelism is most often defined as the convergent or inde-
pendent evolution of similar morphological characters that
share a common developmental basis (Futuyma 1998; Hall
2003; Stearns and Hoekstra 2005). Several elegant studies
(Gompel and Carroll 2003; Sucena et al. 2003; Shapiro et al.
2004, 2006; Prud'homme et al. 2006; McGregor et al. 2007)
have recently shown that the independent gain or loss of
similar morphologies can be accounted for by the gain or loss
of expression of a single gene of ``major'' effect. The study by


Source: Abouheif, Ehab - Department of Biology, McGill University


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology