Jul 1, 1997

Genome size, secondary simplification, and the evolution of the brain in salamanders

Brain, Behavior and Evolution
Gerhard RothDavid B Wake


Compared to other vertebrates, even including lampreys and hagfishes in some respects, salamanders exhibit a relatively simple organization of brain and sense organs which is illustrated here using the visual system as an example. The greatest simplicity is found in the bolitoglossine salamanders, yet all bolitoglossines possess highly projectile tongues and rely on vision for survival; furthermore, some species are agile and acrobatic. The unusual features of the visual system of salamanders include small numbers of large neurons, a low degree of morphological differentiation among neurons, a small proportion of myelinated axons in the optic nerve, and an optic tectum consisting essentially of a periventricular cellular layer and a superficial fiber layer. Similar features are found throughout the central nervous system of salamanders and in the lateral line, auditory and olfactory systems as well. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the most parsimonious interpretation of these data is that the simple organization of the brain and sense organs of salamanders was derived secondarily from a more complex ancestral state. We hypothesize that increased genome size has led to simplification of the nervous system in salamanders. Increa...Continue Reading

  • References
  • Citations29


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations29


Mentioned in this Paper

Optic Lobe, Human
Cell Differentiation Process
Cell Division Phases
Cell Volume

Trending Feeds


Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis

Neural stem cells play a critical role in the production of neuronal cells in neurogenesis is of great importance. Of interest is the role signalling mechanisms in adult neurogenesis. Discover the latest research on signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Psychiatric Chronotherapy

Psychiatric Chronotherapy considers the circadian rhythm as a major factor for optimizing therapeutic efficacy of psychiatric interventions. Discover the latest research on Psychiatric Chronotherapy here.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.

IGA Glomerulonephritis

IgA glomerulonephritis is a chronic form of glomerulonephritis characterized by deposits of predominantly Iimmunoglobin A in the mesangial area. Discover the latest research on IgA glomerulonephritis here.

Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

Cryogenic electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) allows the determination of biological macromolecules and their assemblies at a near-atomic resolution. Here is the latest research.

STING Receptor Agonists

Stimulator of IFN genes (STING) are a group of transmembrane proteins that are involved in the induction of type I interferon that is important in the innate immune response. The stimulation of STING has been an active area of research in the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Here is the latest research on STING receptor agonists.