The genome as a developmental organ

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This paper applies the conceptual toolkit of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo-devo) to the evolution of the genome and the role of the genome in organism development. This challenges both the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, the dominant view in evolutionary theory for much of the 20th century, and the typically unreflective analysis of heredity by evo-devo. First, the history of the marginalization of applying system-thinking to the genome is described. Next, the suggested framework is presented. Finally, its application to the evolution of genome modularity, the evolution of induced mutations, the junk DNA versus ENCODE debate, the role of drift in genome evolution, and the relationship between genome dynamics and symbiosis with microorganisms are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2283-2293
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2014


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