Publications [#229610] of H. Frederik Nijhout
- Nijhout, HF, Molecular and Physiological Basis of Colour Pattern Formation,
Advances in insect physiology, vol. 38 no. C
pp. 219-265, Elsevier, ISSN 0065-2806 [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
(last updated on 2019/05/19)
This chapter focuses on the recent developments for making understanding of the molecular, developmental and physiological mechanism of color pattern formation to place these in the context of antecedent work. The evolution of color patterns can be viewed as two separate questions: the evolution of pigment synthesis pathways and the evolution of patterned synthesis of those pigments. Thus, pattern evolution can be readily associated with the evolution of specific and easy to understand developmental mechanisms. Insect color patterns are particularly suitable for the study of the mechanisms of pattern formation because two-dimensional in nature. The two-dimensionality arises from the fact that color is a feature of the integument that is a two-layered structure composed of a monolayer of epidermal cells that secrete the non-living overlying cuticle. The fundamental problem of developmental biology is how a pattern arises in an initially homogeneous, undifferentiated, field of cells. This is often described as the process of determination by which the developmental fate of a subset of cells in the population becomes restricted. © 2010, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.