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Evolution and Development of Facial Bone Morphology in Threespine Sticklebacks

Charles B. Kimmel, Bonnie Ullmann, Charline Walker, Catherine Wilson, Mark Currey, Patrick C. Phillips, Michael A. Bell, John H. Postlethwait, William A. Cresko and David B. Wake
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 102, No. 16 (Apr. 19, 2005), pp. 5791-5796
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3375386
Page Count: 6
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Evolution and Development of Facial Bone Morphology in Threespine Sticklebacks
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Abstract

How do developmental mechanisms evolve to control changing skeletal morphology, the shapes and sizes of individual bones? We address this question with studies of the opercle (OP), a large facial bone that has undergone marked morphological evolution in the ray-finned fish. Attributes for developmental analysis motivated us to examine how OP shape and size evolve and develop in threespine sticklebacks, a model system for understanding vertebrate evolution. We find that when Alaskan anadromous fish take up permanent residence in lakes, they evolve smaller and reshaped OPs. The change is a reduction in the amount of bone laid down along one body axis, and it arises at or shortly after the onset of OP development. A quantitative trait locus is present on linkage group 19 that contributes in a major way to this phenotype.

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