Skip to main content

Modularity in Development and Evolution

Modularity in Development and Evolution offers the first sustained exploration of modules from developmental and evolutionary perspectives. Contributors discuss what modularity is, how it can be identified and modeled, how it originated and evolved, and its biological significance. Covering modules at levels ranging from genes to colonies, the book focuses on their roles not just in structures but also in processes such as gene regulation. Among many exciting findings, the contributors demonstrate how modules can highlight key constraints on evolutionary processes.

A timely synthesis of a crucial topic, Modularity in Development and Evolution shows the invaluable insights modules can give into both developmental complexities and their evolutionary origins.

600 pages | 8 halftones, 133 line drawings, 20 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2004

Biological Sciences: Anatomy, Biology--Systematics, Evolutionary Biology, Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Morphology

Philosophy of Science


"The authors are authorities in their respective fields . . . Reading [this book] should certainly sharpen your view of what are the interesting questions to ask."

Hans Meinhardt | Nature

""[This collection] is one of the most recent attempts at clarifying the concept of modularity and its implications for evolution. . . . The different contributions represent a variety of perspectives and examples of evolutionary and developmental modularity, and stand as a clear demonstration of just how difficult it can be to firmly formalize this ’fashionable’ concept."

Patricia Beldade | Quarterly Review of Biology

"I think that this book should be on the personal bookshelves of biologists interested in evo-devo, and that its value as a source of information and ideas will last for quite a while. . . . We get clearly presented summaries of a tremendous amount of relevant information and a lot of food for thought."

Konrad Bachmann | Plant Systematics and Evolution

"A very succesful attempt to view the merging fields of development and evolution from the viewpoint of their most important joint concept: modules. . . . A very important sourcebook, not only for a deeper understanding of how development evolves, but also for ideas for new work in this central biological area."

Jack Cohen | Biologist

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Modularity Concept in Developmental and Evolutionary Biology
Gerhard Schlosser and Günter P. Wagner
Part 1 - The Molecular and Developmental Basis of Modularity
2. Selector Genes and the Genetic Control of Developmental Modules
Craig Nelson
3. The Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Proteins in Vertebrate and Invertebrate Neurogenesis
Uwe Strähle and Patrick Blader
4. The Pax/Six/Eya/Dach Network in Development and Evolution
Gabrielle Kardon, Tiffany A. Heanue, and Clifford J. Tabin
5. The Notch Signaling Module
José F. de Celis
6. Sonic Hedgehog and Wnt Signaling Pathways during Development and Evolution
Anne-Gaëlle Borycki
7. Modular Pleiotropic Effects of Quantitative Trait Loci on Morphological Traits
James M. Cheverud
8. Central Nervous System Development: From Embryonic Modules to Functional Modules
Christoph Redies and Luis Puelles
Part 2 - Recognition and Modeling of Modules
9. Synexpression Groups: Genetic Modules and Embryonic Development
Christof Niehrs
10. Systematic Exploration and Mining of Gene Expression Data Provides Evidence for Higher-Order, Modular Regulation
Roland Somogyi, Stefanie Fuhrman, Gary Anderson, Chris Madill, Larry D. Greller, and Bernard Chang
11. Qualitative Analysis of Gene Networks: Toward the Delineation of Cross-Regulatory Modules
Denis Thieffry and Lucas Sánchez
12. Exploring Modularity with Dynamical Models of Gene Networks
George von Dassow and Eli Meir
13. Basins of Attraction in Network Dynamics: A Conceptual Framework for Biomolecular Networks
Andrew Wuensche
Part 3 - The Evolutionary Dynamics and Origin of Modules
14. Informational Accretion, Gene Duplication, and the Mechanisms of Genetic Module Parcellation
Allan G. Force, William A. Cresko, and F. Bryan Pickett
15. The Role of Genetic Architecture Constraints in the Origin of Variational Modularity
Günter P. Wagner and J. G. Mezey
16. Generative Entrenchment, Modularity, and Evolvability: When Genic Selection Meets the Whole Organism
William C. Wimsatt and Jeffery C. Schank
17. Starting the Segmentation Gene Cascade in Insects
Urs Schmidt-Ott and Ernst A. Wimmer
18. The Evolution of Nematode Development: How Cells and Genes Change their Function
Ralf J. Sommer
19. Modularity in the Evolution of Vertebrate Appendages
Neil H. Shubin and Marcus C. Davis
Part 4 - Individuals as Modules in Higher-Level Units
20. The Individual as a Module: Solitary-to-Colonial Transitions in Metazoan Evolution and Development
Brad Davidson, Molly W. Jacobs, and Billie J. Swalla
21. Evolvability, Modularity, and Individuality during the Transition to Multicellularity in Volvocalean Green Algae
Aurora M. Nedelcu and Richard E. Michod
22. Symbiosis, Evolvability, and Modularity
Kim Sterelny
23. The Role of Modules in Development and Evolution
Gerhard Schlosser

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press