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Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation$
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Günter P. Wagner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156460

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156460.001.0001

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The Genetics of Evolutionary Novelties

The Genetics of Evolutionary Novelties

Chapter:
(p.186) 6 The Genetics of Evolutionary Novelties
Source:
Homology, Genes, and Evolutionary Innovation
Author(s):

Günter P. Wagner

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691156460.003.0007

This chapter examines the molecular genetics of evolutionary novelties. In particular, it investigates which molecular mechanisms might be involved in the origination of novel gene regulatory networks (and, thus, character identity networks) and what these mechanisms imply for the origin of novel characters. The chapter begins with a discussion of the complex problem of the evolution of transcriptional regulation by focusing on the evolution of cis-regulatory elements (CREs) and the evolution of transcription factor proteins. It then asks whether novel pigment spots, such as the Drosophila wing spots, are novelties. It also explores an evolutionary novelty known as sex comb and the role of transposable elements in the origin of novel CREs. Finally, it considers the role of gene duplications, the evolution of micro-RNAs (miRNAs), and the possibility of a mechanistic difference between adaptation and innovation.

Keywords:   molecular genetics, evolutionary novelties, gene regulatory networks, character identity network, novel characters, transcriptional regulation, cis-regulatory elements, transcription factor proteins, transposable elements, gene duplication

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