Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-q6k6v Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-13T09:23:54.336Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

6 - Cellular, physiological, and genetic traits

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 December 2009

John C. Avise
Affiliation:
University of California, Irvine
Get access

Summary

The preceding chapters have dealt primarily with PCM studies of macroscopic external features – organismal morphologies, behaviors, and lifestyles – that are often readily visible to the observer's naked eye. This chapter will illustrate how comparative phylogenetic analyses can likewise be conducted on microscopic internal attributes such as an organism's molecular makeup, cellular functions, physiology, genetic mechanisms, or its intragenomic “microbial associates” (including viruses and transposable elements). We will consider, for example, what PCM has revealed about the evolutionary-genetic underpinnings of sex determination, of eye development, of metazoan (multi-cellular animal) body plans, and of cellular mechanisms for DNA repair. We will consider how various fishes evolved antifreeze proteins, the capacity to produce electrical currents, and warm-bloodedness. And we will track the recent evolutionary history of the HIV viruses that cause AIDS. In truth, almost any subject related to cellular biology, ranging from biochemistry to medicine and epidemiology, can be informed to one degree or another by comparative phylogenetic analyses.

Foregut fermentation

Most of the studies described in this book have employed molecular data as phylogenetic backdrops for interpreting the evolutionary histories of morphological or other organismal phenotypes. The general rationale, of course, is that, when species are assayed for hundreds or thousands of detailed genetic characters (as is typically the case with protein or DNA sequence information, for example), any widespread and intricate molecular similarities that might be observed are very unlikely to have arisen by convergent evolution, so they must instead reflect true phylogenetic descent.

Type
Chapter
Information
Evolutionary Pathways in Nature
A Phylogenetic Approach
, pp. 153 - 189
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×