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Encyclopedia > Ontogeny

Ontogeny (also ontogenesis or morphogenesis) describes the origin and the development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form. Ontogeny is studied in developmental biology. Morphogenesis (from the Greek morphê shape and genesis creation) is one of three fundamental aspects of developmental biology along with the control of cell growth and cellular differentiation. ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole and have properties of life. ... Categories: Biology stubs ... A human ovum An ovum (from Latin, loosely, egg or egg cell) is a female sex cell or gamete. ... Sexual maturity is the stage at which an organism can reproduce. ... Developmental biology is the study of the process by which organisms grow and develop. ...

The idea that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, that is, that the development of an organism exactly mirrors the evolutionary development of the species, is discredited today. However the phenomena of recapitulation, in which a developing organism will for a time show a similar trait or attribute to that of an ancestral species, only to have it disappear at a later stage is well documented. For example, embryos of the baleen whale still develop teeth at certain embryonic stages, only to later disappear. A more general example is the emergence of pharyngeal gill pouches of lower vertebrates in almost all mammalian embryos at early stages of development. (Mayr, 2001) The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny, is a hypothesis in biology which attempts to explain apparent similarities between humans and other animals. ...

See also

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The development of phenotype (edit)
Key concepts: Genotype-phenotype distinction | Norms of reaction | Gene-environment interaction | Heritability | Quantitative genetics
Genetic architecture: Dominance relationship | Epistasis | Polygenic inheritance | Pleiotropy | Plasticity | Canalisation | Fitness landscape
Non-genetic influences: Epigenetic inheritance | Epigenetics | Maternal effect
Developmental architecture: Segmentation | Modularity
Evolution of genetic systems: Evolvability | Mutational robustness | Evolution of sex
Influential figures: C. H. Waddington | Richard Lewontin
Debates: Nature versus nurture
List of evolutionary biology topics

  Results from FactBites:
Ontogeny (417 words)
Ontogeny is the history of the individual organism, phylogeny the history of the race or lineage (the linnean taxa or cladistic tree).
Ontogeny can be the history of the universe, or the development of the psyche, or even, as indicate by the above Theosophical diagram, the evolution of the soul, spanning many lifetimes.
On a somewhat smaller scale, the ontogeny of the universe is the totality of the phylogenies of the each and all of the parts of the universe - atoms, molecules, stars and planets, rocks and bacteria and plants and animals and genes and memes and all the rest.
Ontogeny Pharmaceuticals (103 words)
Ontogeny Pharmaceuticals intends to become a corporate leader in the development of clinically meaningful therapeutics for this currently underserved population.
Ontogeny identifies drugs currently in development for other indications, that may interact with known target pathways responsible for the pathogenesis of a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Ontogeny seeks to partner with the sponsoring companies to test and develop these drugs for the therapy of congenital disorders for which there are currently few or no therapeutic options.
  More results at FactBites »



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