UMass Amherst biologists identify a genetic mechanism in the evolution of novel traits

(University of Massachusetts at Amherst) There has long been a debate among biologists over whether the evolution of new traits requires new genes to evolve or whether they can arise simply from the recruitment of existing genetic pathways, says developmental biologist Craig Albertson at UMass Amherst. Now his lab reports evidence that novel traits can come from expanding gene-regulatory modules that have always existed in an organism.