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Citation: Böhmer, Christine and Rauhut, Oliver and Wörheide, Gert: Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs. December 2013. Open Data LMU. https://doi.org/10.5282/ubm/data.68

Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs
Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs

The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely due to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we here demonstrate a direct correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study of evolutionary biology, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns.

axial skeleton, evolution, sauropodomorph dinosaurs, regulatory genes, phenotypic variation
Böhmer, Christine
Rauhut, Oliver
Wörheide, Gert
2013

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HoxA4 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxA5 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxB4 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxB7 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxB8 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxC4 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxC5 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxC6 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxC8 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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HoxD4 alignment.fas - Supplemental Material

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5282/ubm/data.68

Abstract

The relationship between developmental genes and phenotypic variation is of central interest in evolutionary biology. An excellent example is the role of Hox genes in the anteroposterior regionalization of the vertebral column in vertebrates. Archosaurs (crocodiles, dinosaurs including birds) are highly variable both in vertebral morphology and number. Nevertheless, equivalent Hox genes are active in the axial skeleton during embryonic development, indicating that the morphological variation across taxa is likely due to modifications in the pattern of Hox gene expression. By using geometric morphometrics, we here demonstrate a direct correlation between vertebral Hox code and quantifiable vertebral morphology in modern archosaurs, in which the boundaries between morphological subgroups of vertebrae can be linked to anterior Hox gene expression boundaries. Our findings reveal homologous units of cervical vertebrae in modern archosaurs, each with their specific Hox gene pattern, enabling us to trace these homologies in the extinct sauropodomorph dinosaurs, a group with highly variable vertebral counts. Based on the quantifiable vertebral morphology, this allows us to infer the underlying genetic mechanisms in vertebral evolution in fossils, which represents not only an important case study of evolutionary biology, but will lead to a better understanding of the origin of morphological disparity in recent archosaur vertebral columns.

Keywords

axial skeleton, evolution, sauropodomorph dinosaurs, regulatory genes, phenotypic variation

Source

http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0077

References

Supplementary data from

Böhmer C, Rauhut OWM, Wörheide G. 2015 Correlation between Hox code and vertebral morphology in archosaurs. Proc. R. Soc. B 20150077. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.0077

Item Type:Data
Contact Person:Böhmer, Christine
E-Mail of Contact:boehmer at vertevo.de
Subjects:Faculty of Geosciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Natural sciences and mathematics
600 Natural sciences and mathematics > 560 Paleontology, Paleozoology
ID Code:68
Deposited By: Dr. Christine Böhmer
Deposited On:16. Jun 2015 11:07
Last Modified:29. May 2017 09:31

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