Adaptive developmental plasticity: Compartmentalized responses to environmental cues and to corresponding internal signals provide phenotypic flexibility


The environmental regulation of development can result in the production of distinct phenotypes from the same genotype and provide the means for organisms to cope with environmental heterogeneity. The effect of the environment on developmental outcomes is typically mediated by hormonal signals which convey information about external cues to the developing tissues. While such plasticity is a wide-spread property of development, not all developing tissues are equally plastic. To understand how organisms integrate environmental input into coherent adult phenotypes, we must know how different body parts respond, independently or in concert, to external cues and to the corresponding internal signals.

BMC biology