The road to modularity

Günter P Wagner, Mihaela Pavlicev, James M Cheverud

    Publications: Contribution to journalReviewPeer Reviewed


    A network of interactions is called modular if it is subdivided into relatively autonomous, internally highly connected components. Modularity has emerged as a rallying point for research in developmental and evolutionary biology (and specifically evo-devo), as well as in molecular systems biology. Here we review the evidence for modularity and models about its origin. Although there is an emerging agreement that organisms have a modular organization, the main open problem is the question of whether modules arise through the action of natural selection or because of biased mutational mechanisms.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)921-31
    Number of pages11
    JournalNature Reviews. Genetics
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Austrian Fields of Science 2012

    • 106012 Evolutionary research


    • Animals
    • Biodiversity
    • Developmental Biology
    • Evolution, Molecular
    • Fossils
    • Gene Duplication
    • Genes
    • Genetic Variation
    • Genetics, Population

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