Epigenetic Interactions and the Structure of Phenotypic Variation in the Cranium

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Epigenetic Interactions and the Structure of Phenotypic Variation in the Cranium

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Title: Epigenetic Interactions and the Structure of Phenotypic Variation in the Cranium
Author: Hallgrımsson, B.; Lieberman, Daniel Eric; Liu, W.; Ford-Hutchinson, A.F.; Jirik, F.R.

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Citation: Hallgrimssona, B., Daniel E. Liebermanb, W. Liua, A.F. Ford-Hutchinson, and F.R. Jirik. 2007. Epigenetic interactions and the structure of phenotypic variation in the cranium. Evolution and Development 9(1): 76-91.
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Abstract: Understanding the developmental and genetic
basis for evolutionarily significant morphological variation in
complex phenotypes such as themammalian skull is a challenge
because of the sheer complexity of the factors involved. We
hypothesize that even in this complex system, the expression of
phenotypic variation is structured by the interaction of a few key
developmental processes. To test this hypothesis, we created a
highly variable sample of crania using four mouse mutants and
their wild-type controls from similar genetic backgrounds with
developmental perturbations to particular cranial regions. Using
geometricmorphometricmethods we compared patterns of size,
shape, and integration in the sample within and between the
basicranium, neurocranium, and face. The results highlight
regular and predictable patterns of covariation among regions of
the skull that presumably reflect the epigenetic influences of the
genetic perturbations in the sample. Covariation between
relative widths of adjoining regions is the most dominant factor,
but there are other significant axes of covariation such as the
relationship between neurocranial size and basicranial flexion.
Although there are other sources of variation related to
developmental perturbations not analyzed in this study, the
patterns of covariation created by the epigenetic interactions
evident in this sample may underlie larger scale evolutionary
patterns in mammalian craniofacial form.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1525-142X.2006.00139.x
Other Sources: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~skeleton/PDFList.html#2007
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3716667
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