Evolutionary developmental biology, or evo-devo, is a field of study that focuses on comparative analyses of developmental processes in order to infer how development has evolved. We use the methods of developmental biology–including in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, spatial transcriptomics, and imaging–to compare development across species and populations. Much of this work is focused on understanding how specific genes and mutations ultimately generate distinct phenotypes, from the diverse mimetic color patterns of Heliconius and Papilio butterflies to the divergent mate preference behaviors of white and yellow winged Heliconius cydno.
Westerman, E., N. VanKuren, D. Massardo, A. Tenger-Trolander, W. Zhang, R. I. Hill, M. Perry, E. Bayala, K. Barr, N. Chamberlain, T. E. Douglas, N. Buerkle, S. E. Palmer and M. R. Kronforst. 2018. Aristaless controls butterfly wing color variation used in mimicry and mate choice. Current Biology 28: 3469-3474. ScienceDaily Futurity Phys.org
Martin A., R. Papa, N. J. Nadeau, R. I. Hill, B. A. Counterman, G. Halder, C. D. Jiggins, M. R. Kronforst, A. D. Long, W. O. McMillan and R. D. Reed. 2012. Diversification of complex butterfly wing patterns by repeated regulatory evolution of a Wnt ligand. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109: 12632-12637.