Computational Modeling at the Cell and Tissue Level in Evo-Devo

Miquel Marin-Riera, Isaac Salazar-Ciudad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Computational models of development integrate empirical knowledge about the dynamics of development, including the interactions at the level of genes, cells, and tissues. These models are capable of predicting the relationship between genotype and phenotype for a specific organ or embryo part, that is, the association of specific genetic differences with specific phenotypic differences. Thus, they can provide insights into the evolution of specific lineages by predicting what phenotypic variation is present at each generation for selection to act on. In this chapter we explain how computational models of development are designed and describe several approaches using them in order to address specific and general questions in evolution. Models of development can be used to infer the range of possible phenotypes for a given organ or structure and predict the genetic and developmental bases of specific evolutionary transitions. By including realistic developmental dynamics in population-based models of evolution, one can assess the effect of a complex relationship between genotype and phenotype on the dynamics of adaptation in populations. Furthermore, when the structure of development is allowed to change by mutation in these models, general patterns in the evolution of the mechanisms of development can be inferred.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvolutionary Developmental Biology: A Reference Guide
EditorsLaura Nuño de la Rosa, Gerd B. Müller
Number of pages15
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-32977-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-32979-6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Fields of Science

  • 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology

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