What is it about?

The potential role of developmental processes in guiding evolution remains contentious. We show that those aspects of wing shape that are most strongly affected by naturally occurring developmental noise are also those that differ the most among distant fly lineages. This suggests that evolution follows developmental paths of least resistance, even over vast timescales.

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Why is it important?

This study suggests that the way organisms develop may guide evolution into certain directions and that these effects can last for more than 60 million years. This reinforces the notion that development can have major effects on the potential for adaptation, but also raises fundamental questions about the causal relationship between development and evolution.

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This page is a summary of: Developmental bias predicts 60 million years of wing shape evolution, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2211210120.
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