Evolving Teeth with Single Genes – #365papers – 2017 – 84

#365papers for March 25, 2017

Harjunmass, Seidel, Kakkinen, Renvoise, Corfe, Kallonen, Zhang, Evans, Mikkola, Salazar-Ciudad, Klein, and Jernvall, 2017, Replaying evolutinary transitions from the dental fossil record: Nature, v, 512, p. 44-48.

What’s it about?

This paper considers the complex shape of rodent molars. They show through gene manipulation how the complex rodent tooth came from a simpler, basic mammal shape. All that was required was to change the timing and duration of a single gene.

Why does it matter?

This shows that what appear to be complex evolutionary changes can be accomplished quite simply.

Why did I read this?

I did not know this was going to be an embryology-slash-gene paper. I just wanted to read something about the evolution of rodent teeth because I was in that kind of mood.

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