Constrained vertebrate evolution by pleiotropic genes

Haiyang Hu, Masahiro Uesaka, Song Guo, Kotaro Shimai, Tsai Ming Lu, Fang Li, Satoko Fujimoto, Masato Ishikawa, Shiping Liu, Yohei Sasagawa, Guojie Zhang, Shigeru Kuratani, Jr Kai Yu, Takehiro G. Kusakabe, Philipp Khaitovich, Naoki Irie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite morphological diversification of chordates over 550 million years of evolution, their shared basic anatomical pattern (or 'bodyplan') remains conserved by unknown mechanisms. The developmental hourglass model attributes this to phylum-wide conserved, constrained organogenesis stages that pattern the bodyplan (the phylotype hypothesis); however, there has been no quantitative testing of this idea with a phylum-wide comparison of species. Here, based on data from early-to-late embryonic transcriptomes collected from eight chordates, we suggest that the phylotype hypothesis would be better applied to vertebrates than chordates. Furthermore, we found that vertebrates' conserved mid-embryonic developmental programmes are intensively recruited to other developmental processes, and the degree of the recruitment positively correlates with their evolutionary conservation and essentiality for normal development. Thus, we propose that the intensively recruited genetic system during vertebrates' organogenesis period imposed constraints on its diversification through pleiotropic constraints, which ultimately led to the common anatomical pattern observed in vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1722-1730
Number of pages9
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume1
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

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