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Comparative Development and Evolution

Developmental Biology Learning Framework

Society Learning Goals Articles Sample Learning Objectives
Comparative Development and Evolution
How does comparison between species explain the emergence of new features?
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  • Propose a study of different species that can inform us about processes that led to disappearance or appearance of specific features (e.g. Loss of tail).
How do changes in expression patterns of existing genes, or genetic modifications of existing signaling pathways result in new phenotypes?
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  • List a few genes that are found across the phyla and propose mechanisms that allowed them to form different phenotypes.
How do differences in developmental processes explain determinate versus indeterminate growers?
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  • Propose multiple mechanisms by which indeterminate (e.g. eel) and determinate (e.g. guppy) growers may differ in their developmental processes.
How does the environment contribute to organismal diversity?
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  • Explain the “organizational-activation” theory of steroid hormone action on development. Use two specific examples that lead to “masculinization” or “feminization” of structures in an organism.
  • Predict how factors such as temperature could be operative in phenotypic diversity within species (e.g. Turtle).

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