Research Topic

MorphoEvoDevo: A Multilevel Approach to Elucidate the Evolution of Metazoan Organ Systems

About this Research Topic

Analyzing animal development in a comparative framework provides a unique window into evolutionary history. With a long tradition that dates back to iconic 19th-century zoologists such as Ernst Haeckel and Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Developmental Biology is firmly rooted in morphological research. While studies using a classical model system approach have resulted in considerable methodological progress, in particular by establishing molecular genetic tools to tackle questions surrounding animal development, it quickly became obvious that a broad comparative dataset involving as many taxa as possible is necessary for sound evolutionary inferences. Thus, today’s EvoDevo embraces morphological, molecular, and experimental procedures, interpreted in a phylogenetic framework, in order to answer key questions that revolve around the evolution of animal cell types, organ systems, and, ultimately, entire species.

In this Research Topic, we welcome contributions that use development as a key approach to better understand animal origins and the evolution of phenotypic diversity. Topics covered range from work describing the ontogeny of organ systems through analyses of gene expression patterns, cell type profiling, phylogeny, and questions related to the origin of multicellularity. This Research Topic is based on the session “MorphoEvoDevo” that will be held during the 5th International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology in Vienna, Austria, from August 2nd-7th, 2020, organized by Néva Meyer and Andreas Wanninger. Contribution to this Topic, however, is neither restricted to participants of this symposium nor to research related to invertebrates – we gladly welcome manuscript submissions from the entire EvoDevo community.

We aim at a broad collection of research papers, review articles, and perspective papers that highlight the diversity of current research into animal EvoDevo and morphology using the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art-methods, such as high-end microscopy, imaging, in situ hybridization, functional and experimental genetics, phylogeny, transcriptomics, genomics, and others.


Keywords: EvoDevo, morphology, gene expression patterns, phylogenetic, phenotypic diversity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Analyzing animal development in a comparative framework provides a unique window into evolutionary history. With a long tradition that dates back to iconic 19th-century zoologists such as Ernst Haeckel and Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Developmental Biology is firmly rooted in morphological research. While studies using a classical model system approach have resulted in considerable methodological progress, in particular by establishing molecular genetic tools to tackle questions surrounding animal development, it quickly became obvious that a broad comparative dataset involving as many taxa as possible is necessary for sound evolutionary inferences. Thus, today’s EvoDevo embraces morphological, molecular, and experimental procedures, interpreted in a phylogenetic framework, in order to answer key questions that revolve around the evolution of animal cell types, organ systems, and, ultimately, entire species.

In this Research Topic, we welcome contributions that use development as a key approach to better understand animal origins and the evolution of phenotypic diversity. Topics covered range from work describing the ontogeny of organ systems through analyses of gene expression patterns, cell type profiling, phylogeny, and questions related to the origin of multicellularity. This Research Topic is based on the session “MorphoEvoDevo” that will be held during the 5th International Congress on Invertebrate Morphology in Vienna, Austria, from August 2nd-7th, 2020, organized by Néva Meyer and Andreas Wanninger. Contribution to this Topic, however, is neither restricted to participants of this symposium nor to research related to invertebrates – we gladly welcome manuscript submissions from the entire EvoDevo community.

We aim at a broad collection of research papers, review articles, and perspective papers that highlight the diversity of current research into animal EvoDevo and morphology using the entire spectrum of state-of-the-art-methods, such as high-end microscopy, imaging, in situ hybridization, functional and experimental genetics, phylogeny, transcriptomics, genomics, and others.


Keywords: EvoDevo, morphology, gene expression patterns, phylogenetic, phenotypic diversity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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