Genetic regulation of mammalian diversity

R. R. Behringer, J. J. Rasweiler IV, C. H. Chen, C. J. Cretekos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


Mammals have evolved a variety of morphological adaptations that have allowed them to compete in their natural environments. The developmental genetic basis of this morphological diversity remains largely unknown. Bats are mammals that have the unique ability of powered flight. We have examined the molecular embryology of bats and investigated the developmental genetic basis for their highly derived limbs used for flight. Initially, we developed an embryo staging system for a model chiropteran, Carollia perspicillata, the short-tailed fruit bat that has subsequently been used for staging other bat species. Expression studies focusing on genes that regulate limb development indicate that there are similarities and differences between bats and mice. To determine the consequences of these expression differences, we have conducted an enhancer switch assay by gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells to create mice whose genes are regulated by bat sequences. Our studies indicate that cis-regulatory elements contribute to the morphological differences that have evolved among mammalian species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2009

Publication series

NameCold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology
ISSN (Print)0091-7451

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic regulation of mammalian diversity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this