Um padrão irregular de ampulheta descreve o ritmo do desenvolvimento fenotípico na evolução dos mamíferos placentários

segunda-feira, junho 15, 2020

An irregular hourglass pattern describes the tempo of phenotypic development in placental mammal evolution

Gerardo A. Cordero, Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra and Ingmar Werneburg


Organismal development is defined by progressive transformations that ultimately give rise to distinct tissues and organs. Thus, temporal shifts in ontogeny often reflect key phenotypic differences in phylogeny. Classical theory predicts that interspecific morphological divergence originates towards the end of embryonic or fetal life stages, i.e. the early conservation model. By contrast, the hourglass model predicts interspecific variation early and late in prenatal ontogeny, though with a phylogenetically similar mid-developmental period. This phylotypic period, however, remains challenging to define within large clades such as mammals. Thus, molecular and morphological tests on a mammalian hourglass have not been entirely congruent. Here, we report an hourglass-like pattern for mammalian developmental evolution. By comparing published data on the timing of 74 homologous characters across 51 placental species, we demonstrated that variation in the timing of development decreased late in embryogenesis––when organ formation is highly active. Evolutionary rates of characters related to this timeframe were lowest, coinciding with a phylotypic period that persisted well beyond the pharyngula ‘stage’. The trajectory culminated with elevated variation in a handful of fetal and perinatal characters, yielding an irregular hourglass pattern. Our study invites further quantification of ontogeny across diverse amniotes and thus challenges current ideas on the universality of developmental patterns.

FREE PDF GRATIS: Biology Letters