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You are here: Home / Teams / Comparative and Integrative Genomics of Organ Development - S.Pantalacci/M. Semon / Publications / Developmental constraints revealed by co-variation within and among molar rows in two murine rodents.

Developmental constraints revealed by co-variation within and among molar rows in two murine rodents.

Sabrina Renaud, Sophie Pantalacci, Jean-Pierre Quere, Vincent Laudet, and Jean-Christophe Auffray (2009)

Evol Dev, 11(5):590-602.

Morphological integration corresponds to interdependency between characters thatcan arise from several causes. Proximal causes of integration include that different phenotypic features may share common genetic sets and/or interact during their development. Ultimate causes may be the prolonged effect of selection favoring integration of functionally interacting characters, achieved by the molding of these proximal causes. Strong and direct interactions among successive teeth of a molar row are predicted by genetic and developmental evidences. Functional constraints related to occlusion, however, should have selected more strongly for a morphological integration of occluding teeth and a corresponding evolution of the underlying developmental and genetic pathways. Toinvestigate how these predictions match the patterns of phenotypic integration, we studied the co-variation among the six molars of the murine molar row, focusing on two populations of house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) and wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). The size and shape of the three upper and lower molars were quantified and compared. Our results evidenced similar patterns in both species, size being more integrated than shape among all the teeth, and both size and shape co-varying strongly between adjacent teeth, but also between occludingteeth. Strong co-variation within each molar row is in agreement with developmental models showing a cascade influence of the first molar on the subsequent molars. In contrast, the strong co-variation between molars of the occluding tooth rows confirms that functional constraints molded patterns of integration and probably the underlying developmental pathways despite the low level of direct developmental interactions occurring among molar rows. These patterns of co-variation are furthermore conserved between the house mouse and the wood mouse that diverged >10 Ma, suggesting that they may constitute long-running constraints to the diversification of the murine rodent dentition.

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