Bauplanes [sic]

Richard Gordon gordonr at cc.umanitoba.ca
Fri Apr 25 08:38:52 EST 1997



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"Bauplan" is a German word. Plural is "Baupl=E4ne" (umlaut over the a),
though in English this sometimes is written "Bauplans". I've tried to
relate Bauplans to the lineage trees of organisms as they are developing.
See the Word 5.1 attachment containing two figures, and the text below, if
you're interested. Comments would be appreciated. -Dick Gordon

Excerpts from: Gordon, R. (1997). The Hierarchical Genome and Ultraslow,
Differentiation Waves: Novel Unification of Development, Genetics, and
Evolution  (Singapore: World Scientific), in prep.

Bauplan: Generalized, idealized, archetypal body plan of a particular group
of animals. (Lawrence, E. (1989). Henderson's Dictionary of Biological
Terms,  (10th ed.), Essex, UK: Longman Scientific & Technical.)
...
Proposition #210: the differentiation tree is in effect the Bauplan of an
organism.

The somewhat vague concept of a Bauplan has been thoroughly reviewed by
{Hall (1992a)}. The multiple definitions of the Bauplan, and its
hierarchical nature within the life cycle of a single organism, fit the
structure of the differentiation tree.

Proposition #211: recapitulation is fundamentally a matter of degree of
correspondence of the topologies of the differentiation trees of the
organisms being compared. Given two differentiation trees, when we compare
them by matching roots, either: one tree is a subtree of the other, or
there is a common subtree of both.

In the first case, we could, except for the microevolutionary differences,
speak of, say, organism A as effectively being like the ancestor of B
(Text Figure 21).

In the second case, if C is the rooted subtree common to A and B
(Text Figure 22), then C in some sense represents the 'archetype' (reviewed
in {Hall, 1992a}) of A and B. It is unlikely that any organism actually
existed with differentiation tree C, due to tree prunings that may have
occurred. Moreover, since the topology of the differentiation tree is not
all there is to it (given the 300 or so alleles that can vary for each edge
of the tree, and heterochronic variations), we can hardly say that C tells
us what the archetype looked like, except in the broadest sense.

The nested nature of bauplans ({Hall, 1992a}) is thus accounted for.
=46urthermore, the old disputes on recapitulation, such as whether present o=
r
past or archetypical organisms appear in the sequence of morphologies of an
embryo are resolved as partial victories for all the embattled.

Reference:
Hall, B.K. (1992a). Evolutionary Developmental Biology. New York: Chapman &
Hall.



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--------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Richard Gordon, Department of Radiology
University of Manitoba, Room ON104, Health Sciences Centre
820 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9 Canada
Phone: (204) 789-3828,  Fax: (204) 787-2080, Home: (204) 589-0411
E-mail: GordonR at cc.UManitoba.ca



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