Biodiv Sci ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 66-71.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13248

Special Issue: 基因组和生物多样性

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Developmental repatterning and biodiversity

Rui Zhang*(), Chunce Guo, Hongyan Shan, Hongzhi Kong   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2013-11-29 Accepted:2014-01-24 Online:2014-01-20 Published:2014-02-10
  • Contact: Zhang Rui


Adult individuals of multicellular organisms are derived from single cells, the zygote. If the phenotype of a mature organism is regarded as a pattern of existence, then the process that generates the pattern can be called developmental patterning. Consequently, modification or alteration of the original developmental trajectory to generate novel phenotype(s) is the process of developmental repatterning. Accumulated data in recent years suggest that developmental repatterning is not only widespread, but is also very important during the evolution of multicellular organisms. According to the type and consequence of mutation, developmental repatterning can be divided into four main types: heterochrony, heterotopy, heterometry, and heterotypy. Heterochrony, heterotopy and heterometry refer to changes of gene expression over time, space and in amount/concentration, respectively, while heterotypy is the replacement of gene product. Here, by introducing examples of developmental repatterning, we explain the relationship between developmental repatterning and phenotypic evolution, and discuss its contribution to biodiversity.

Key words: biodiversity, developmental repatterning, heterochrony, heterotopy, heterometry, heterotypy