About this Research Topic
A biological system is robust if it continues to function in face of perturbations. Genetic robustness is the capacity of organisms to withstand mutations, showing little or no phenotype, or compromised viability. This inherent property of biological systems is wired in the genetic and proteomic interactome and enhances the chance of viability of individuals in face of mutations. So far, we know that, just like microorganisms and invertebrates, vertebrate species are also very robust to mutations, as most genes will not show an overt phenotype when mutated and will generate viable individuals. This poses two fundamental questions: 1. How can we study the function of particular genes despite of the robustness? and 2. How does the system compensate for the lack of function of these genes? In other words, what are the mechanisms behind genetic robustness.
Even though robustness is present at every level of organization in cell and developmental biology, few studies address how this phenomenon is manifested and which are the genetic, biochemical and cellular mechanisms that enable it. The aim of this Research Topic is to bring together current research in cell and developmental biology that either: 1. Describes a robust feature in a specific system or 2. Addresses the mechanism behind a robust property in a system.
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