Homoplasy: From Detecting Pattern to Determining Process and Mechanism of Evolution

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 02/2011; 331(6020):1032-5. DOI: 10.1126/science.1188545
Source: PubMed


Understanding the diversification of phenotypes through time—“descent with modification”—has been the focus of evolutionary
biology for 150 years. If, contrary to expectations, similarity evolves in unrelated taxa, researchers are guided to uncover
the genetic and developmental mechanisms responsible. Similar phenotypes may be retained from common ancestry (homology),
but a phylogenetic context may instead reveal that they are independently derived, due to convergence or parallel evolution,
or less likely, that they experienced reversal. Such examples of homoplasy present opportunities to discover the foundations
of morphological traits. A common underlying mechanism may exist, and components may have been redeployed in a way that produces
the “same” phenotype. New, robust phylogenetic hypotheses and molecular, genomic, and developmental techniques enable integrated
exploration of the mechanisms by which similarity arises.

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Available from: David Wake, Oct 09, 2015
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    • "Parallel/convergent phenotypic evolution – the independent and repeated evolution of similar traits in similar environments – provides strong evidence for a deterministic role of natural selection (Langerhans & DeWitt, 2004; Schluter et al., 2004; Arendt & Reznick, 2008; Losos, 2011; Wake et al., 2011). While recognizing that optimal use of the terms " parallel " versus " convergent " is debatable (Arendt & Reznick, 2008), we henceforth use " parallel " as it is standard for our study system (see below) and because we focus on phenotypic patterns, rather than the underlying genetic/developmental pathways. "
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    ABSTRACT: Parallel (and convergent) phenotypic variation is most often studied in the wild, where it is difficult to disentangle genetic versus environmentally-induced effects. As a result, the potential contributions of phenotypic plasticity to parallelism (and non-parallelism) are rarely evaluated in a formal sense. Phenotypic parallelism could be enhanced by plasticity that causes stronger parallelism across populations in the wild than would be expected from genetic differences alone. Phenotypic parallelism could be dampened if site-specific plasticity induced differences between otherwise genetically-parallel populations. We used a common-garden study of three independent lake-stream stickleback population pairs to evaluate the extent to which adaptive divergence has a genetic or plastic basis, and to investigate the enhancing versus dampening effects of plasticity on phenotypic parallelism. We found that lake-stream differences in most traits had a genetic basis, but that several traits also showed contributions from plasticity. Moreover, plasticity was much more prevalent in one watershed than in the other two. In most cases, plasticity enhanced phenotypic parallelism, whereas in a few cases plasticity had a dampening effect. Genetic and plastic contributions to divergence seem to play a complimentary, likely adaptive, role in phenotypic parallelism of lake-stream stickleback. These findings highlight the value of formally comparing wild-caught and lab-reared individuals in the study of phenotypic parallelism.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Evolutionary Biology 09/2015; DOI:10.1111/jeb.12767 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "They are major patterns of phenotypic evolution. Such examples of homoplasy (Lankester 1870) present opportunities to discover the foundations of morphological traits and determine processes and mechanisms of evolution (Wake et al. 2011). Furthermore, understanding what is driving the high degree of homeomorphy within ammonoids is of great importance for taxonomy (e.g., Hewitt 1989; Webb 1994) and phylogeny as it might result in a high degree of homoplasy (Wake 1991; Yacobucci 2012). "
    Ammonoid Paleobiology: From macroevolution to paleogeography, Topics in Geobiology 44 edited by Christian Klug, Dieter Korn, Kenneth De Baets, Isabelle Kruta, Royal H. Mapes, 08/2015: chapter 5: pages 95-142; Springer., ISBN: 978-94-017-9632-3
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    • "and arises from several phenom - ena including convergence , parallelism , reversals , independent evolution ( Wake , 1991 ; Wake et al . , 2011 ) and rapid evolution . Homoplastic variation not only aids in species recognition ( Wild et al . , 2013 ) but may also have been the basis for , and the system that allowed , diversification to proceed ( Wake et al . , 2011 ) once a bauplan is in place . Our analysis more fully resolved the phylogeny when using both perfect homologues and characters with ci < 1 . It is reason - able to propose that homoplastic characters inform more recent divergences in a mode analogous to faster evolving molecular characters , such as the third codon position in protein "
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    ABSTRACT: Although 11 studies have addressed the systematics of the four families and 281 fish species of the ecomorphologically diverse Anostomoidea, none has proposed a global hypothesis of relationships. We synthesized these studies to yield a supermatrix with 463 morphological characters among 174 ingroup species, and inferred phylogeny with parsimony and Bayesian optimization. We evaluated the applicability of the supermatrix approach to morphological datasets, tested its sensitivity to missing data, determined the impact of homoplastic characters on phylogenetic resolution, and determined the distribution of homologies and homoplasies on the topology. Despite more than 60% missing data, analyses supported the monophyly of all families, and phylogenetic structure degraded only with inclusion of species with high percentages of missing data and in analyses limited to homoplasies. The latter differs modestly from the full matrix indicating phylogenetic signal in homoplastic characters. Character distributions differ across the phylogeny, with a greater prevalence of homologies at deeper nodes and homoplasies nearer the tips than expected by chance. This may suggest early diversification into distinct bauplans with subsequent diversification of faster evolving character systems. The morphological supermatrix approach is powerful and allows integration of classical data with modern methods to examine the evolution of multiple character systems.
    Cladistics 07/2015; DOI:10.1111/cla.12127 · 6.22 Impact Factor
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