Morphological evolution and embryonic developmental diversity in metazoa

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Most studies of pattern formation and morphogenesis in metazoans focus on a small number of model species, despite the fact that information about a wide range of species and developmental stages has accumulated in recent years. By contrast, this article attempts to use this broad knowledge base to arrive at a classification of developmental types through which metazoan body plans are generated. This classification scheme pays particular attention to the diverse ways by which cell signalling and morphogenetic movements depend on each other, and leads to several testable hypotheses regarding morphological variation within and between species, as well as metazoan evolution. © 2010. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-539
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2010


  • Body plan evolution
  • Evolution of development
  • Mechanisms of development
  • Morphogenesis
  • Pattern formation


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