From “the worm” to “the worms” and back again: The evolutionary developmental biology of nematodes

Eric S. Haag, David Fitch, Marie Delattre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since the earliest days of research on nematodes, scientists have noted the developmental and morphological variation that exists within and between species. As various cellular and developmental processes were revealed through intense focus on Caenorhabditis elegans, these comparative studies have expanded. Within the genus Caenorhabditis, they include characterization of intraspecific polymorphisms and comparisons of distinct species, all generally amenable to the same laboratory culture methods and supported by robust genomic and experimental tools. The C. elegans paradigm has also motivated studies with more distantly related nematodes and animals. Combined with improved phylogenies, this work has led to important insights about the evolution of nematode development. First, while many aspects of C. elegans development are representative of Caenorhabditis, and of terrestrial nematodes more generally, others vary in ways both obvious and cryptic. Second, the system has revealed several clear examples of developmental flexibility in achieving a particular trait. This includes developmental system drift, in which the developmental control of homologous traits has diverged in different lineages, and cases of convergent evolution. Overall, the wealth of information and experimental techniques developed in C. elegans is being leveraged to make nematodes a powerful system for evolutionary cellular and developmental biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-433
Number of pages37
JournalGenetics
Volume210
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Fingerprint

Developmental Biology
Caenorhabditis elegans
Caenorhabditis
Phylogeny
Cell Biology
Research

Keywords

  • C. elegans
  • Connectome
  • Developmental systems drift
  • Embryo
  • Evolution
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Sex determination
  • Sperm
  • Vulva
  • Wormbook

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

Cite this

From “the worm” to “the worms” and back again : The evolutionary developmental biology of nematodes. / Haag, Eric S.; Fitch, David; Delattre, Marie.

In: Genetics, Vol. 210, No. 2, 01.10.2018, p. 397-433.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{84fc11b893d744b2920e2c424f677749,
title = "From “the worm” to “the worms” and back again: The evolutionary developmental biology of nematodes",
abstract = "Since the earliest days of research on nematodes, scientists have noted the developmental and morphological variation that exists within and between species. As various cellular and developmental processes were revealed through intense focus on Caenorhabditis elegans, these comparative studies have expanded. Within the genus Caenorhabditis, they include characterization of intraspecific polymorphisms and comparisons of distinct species, all generally amenable to the same laboratory culture methods and supported by robust genomic and experimental tools. The C. elegans paradigm has also motivated studies with more distantly related nematodes and animals. Combined with improved phylogenies, this work has led to important insights about the evolution of nematode development. First, while many aspects of C. elegans development are representative of Caenorhabditis, and of terrestrial nematodes more generally, others vary in ways both obvious and cryptic. Second, the system has revealed several clear examples of developmental flexibility in achieving a particular trait. This includes developmental system drift, in which the developmental control of homologous traits has diverged in different lineages, and cases of convergent evolution. Overall, the wealth of information and experimental techniques developed in C. elegans is being leveraged to make nematodes a powerful system for evolutionary cellular and developmental biology.",
keywords = "C. elegans, Connectome, Developmental systems drift, Embryo, Evolution, Gene regulatory network, Sex determination, Sperm, Vulva, Wormbook",
author = "Haag, {Eric S.} and David Fitch and Marie Delattre",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1534/genetics.118.300243",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "210",
pages = "397--433",
journal = "Genetics",
issn = "0016-6731",
publisher = "Genetics Society of America",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - From “the worm” to “the worms” and back again

T2 - The evolutionary developmental biology of nematodes

AU - Haag, Eric S.

AU - Fitch, David

AU - Delattre, Marie

PY - 2018/10/1

Y1 - 2018/10/1

N2 - Since the earliest days of research on nematodes, scientists have noted the developmental and morphological variation that exists within and between species. As various cellular and developmental processes were revealed through intense focus on Caenorhabditis elegans, these comparative studies have expanded. Within the genus Caenorhabditis, they include characterization of intraspecific polymorphisms and comparisons of distinct species, all generally amenable to the same laboratory culture methods and supported by robust genomic and experimental tools. The C. elegans paradigm has also motivated studies with more distantly related nematodes and animals. Combined with improved phylogenies, this work has led to important insights about the evolution of nematode development. First, while many aspects of C. elegans development are representative of Caenorhabditis, and of terrestrial nematodes more generally, others vary in ways both obvious and cryptic. Second, the system has revealed several clear examples of developmental flexibility in achieving a particular trait. This includes developmental system drift, in which the developmental control of homologous traits has diverged in different lineages, and cases of convergent evolution. Overall, the wealth of information and experimental techniques developed in C. elegans is being leveraged to make nematodes a powerful system for evolutionary cellular and developmental biology.

AB - Since the earliest days of research on nematodes, scientists have noted the developmental and morphological variation that exists within and between species. As various cellular and developmental processes were revealed through intense focus on Caenorhabditis elegans, these comparative studies have expanded. Within the genus Caenorhabditis, they include characterization of intraspecific polymorphisms and comparisons of distinct species, all generally amenable to the same laboratory culture methods and supported by robust genomic and experimental tools. The C. elegans paradigm has also motivated studies with more distantly related nematodes and animals. Combined with improved phylogenies, this work has led to important insights about the evolution of nematode development. First, while many aspects of C. elegans development are representative of Caenorhabditis, and of terrestrial nematodes more generally, others vary in ways both obvious and cryptic. Second, the system has revealed several clear examples of developmental flexibility in achieving a particular trait. This includes developmental system drift, in which the developmental control of homologous traits has diverged in different lineages, and cases of convergent evolution. Overall, the wealth of information and experimental techniques developed in C. elegans is being leveraged to make nematodes a powerful system for evolutionary cellular and developmental biology.

KW - C. elegans

KW - Connectome

KW - Developmental systems drift

KW - Embryo

KW - Evolution

KW - Gene regulatory network

KW - Sex determination

KW - Sperm

KW - Vulva

KW - Wormbook

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85054443887&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85054443887&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1534/genetics.118.300243

DO - 10.1534/genetics.118.300243

M3 - Article

C2 - 30287515

AN - SCOPUS:85054443887

VL - 210

SP - 397

EP - 433

JO - Genetics

JF - Genetics

SN - 0016-6731

IS - 2

ER -