Article added to library!
Pubchase is a service of - free, open access, crowdsourced protocols repository. Explore protocols.
Sign in
Reset password
or connect with
By signing in you are agreeing to our
Terms Of Service and Privacy Policy
Jun 18, 2018
PLoS Computational Biology
Modularity is a widespread property in biological systems. It implies that interactions occur mainly within groups of system elements. A modular arrangement facilitates adjustment of one module without perturbing the rest of the system. Therefore, modularity of developmental mechanisms is a major factor for evolvability, the potential to produce beneficial variation from random genetic change. Understanding how modularity evolves in gene regulatory networks, that create the distinct gene activity patterns that characterize different parts of an organism, is key to developmental and evolutionary biology. One hypothesis for the evolution of modules suggests that interactions between some sets of genes become maladaptive when selection favours additional gene activity patterns. The removal of such interactions by selection would result in the formation of modules. A second hypothesis suggests that modularity evolves in response to sparseness, the scarcity of interactions within a system. Here I simulate the evolution of gene regulatory networks and analyse diverse experimentally sustained networks to study the relationship between sparseness and modularity. My results suggest that sparseness alone is neither sufficient nor necessary to explain modularity in gene regulatory networks. However, sparseness amplifies the effects of forms of selection that, like selection for additional gene activity patterns, already produce an increase in modularity. That evolution of new gene activity patterns is frequent across evolution also supports that it is a major factor in the evolution of modularity. That sparseness is widespread across gene regulatory networks indicates that it may have facilitated the evolution of modules in a wide variety of cases.

Downloading PDF to your library...

Uploading PDF...

PDF uploading

Delete tag:

The link you entered does not seem to be valid

Please make sure the link points to contains a valid shared_access_token