In Pictures

Genetic Pathways: Novel Traits Can Come From Existing Genes

“Where do novel traits come from?” There has long been a debate among biologists over whether the evolution of new traits requires new genes to evolve or whether they can arise simply from the recruitment of existing genetic pathways. UMass Amherst biologist Craig Albertson and graduate student Moira Conith have conducted an “elegant set of experiments” in African cichlid fishes that support the idea that novel traits can come from expanding gene-regulatory modules that have always existed in an organism. Details appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Read More)