Developmental modularity and the marsupial-placental dichotomy

Goswami, A., Weisbecker, V. and Sanchez-Villagra, M. R. (2009) Developmental modularity and the marsupial-placental dichotomy. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B-Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 312B 3: 186-195. doi:10.1002/jez.b.21283

Author Goswami, A.
Weisbecker, V.
Sanchez-Villagra, M. R.
Title Developmental modularity and the marsupial-placental dichotomy
Journal name Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B-Molecular and Developmental Evolution   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1552-5007
Publication date 2009-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/jez.b.21283
Volume 312B
Issue 3
Start page 186
End page 195
Total pages 10
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Abstract The contrasting evolutionary histories of marsupial and placental mammals have often been attributed to their different reproductive strategies. The speciose placentals develop mainly in utero and have radiated into diverse niches, whereas marsupials are born in a highly altricial state with immediate functional requirements and are limited in taxonomic, ecological, and morphological diversity. These differences have been tied to heterochrony, and it has been hypothesized that coordinated shifts in developmental timing occur among functionally- or developmentally related structures, such as forelimbs in marsupials. We use new ossification sequence data for 11 marsupial and 14 placental species to assess the integration of first ossification timing among skeletal elements. Although cranial elements fail to demonstrate significant coordination, marsupials and placentals differ markedly in postcranial integration. Marsupials display independent anterior and posterior developmental modules, whereas placentals show significant integration of the entire appendicular skeleton. This developmental integration of the placental postcranium is consistent with a recent study of phenotypic modularity in limbs of placental mammals, showing a potential correspondence between integration of developmental timing and of shape. The observed differences in postcranial integration between marsupials and placentals may reflect the disparate evolutionary histories of these two mammalian clades.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 38 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 08 Apr 2013, 22:44:03 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences