Phenotypic plasticity in embryonic development of reptiles: recent research and research opportunities in China

Weiguo Du*, Xiang Ji, Richard Shine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Adaptive developmental plasticity can enable an organism to modify its phenotype rapidly, in response to local (and perhaps, unpredictable) conditions, by altering reaction norms during development. Previous studies on this topic have been dominated by western scientists, employing western study systems and approaches. Recently, the expansion of Chinese ecological research has seen a broadening of studies taxonomically (phylogenetically). Here, we briefly summarize research that has been conducted on developmental plasticity in Chinese reptiles over the past two decades, and suggest productive directions for future studies in this field. There are exciting research opportunities in this field in China, and we call for increased collaboration between western and eastern scientists to elucidate the role of developmental plasticity in evolutionary responses of organisms to environmental changes. As human activities increase the intensity and frequency of such changes, the need to understand responses of biological systems becomes an increasingly urgent priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalAsian Herpetological Research
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • developmental plasticity
  • embryonic reptile
  • ecological adaptation
  • environmental change
  • China

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