University of Cambridge > > Melville Laboratory Seminars > The EvoDevo and Physics of Skin Appendages and Skin Colours in Vertebrates

The EvoDevo and Physics of Skin Appendages and Skin Colours in Vertebrates

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Combining evolutionary developmental biology, physics, and computer science, we investigate the emergence of both complexity and diversity of integumentary traits in vertebrates. More specifically, we perform descriptive and mechanistic analyses of morphogenesis and patterning of skin colour and skin appendages in reptiles and mammals. First, I will show that the scales on the face and jaws of crocodilians are not genetically-controlled developmental units and that their spatial patterning is generated through physical cracking of the skin. Second, I will show that rapid skin colour changes in chameleons are not caused by dispersion/aggregation of pigment-containing organelles but by the active tuning of an intracellular 3D photonic structure. Third, I will show that recent genomic approaches allow deciphering the genetic determinism and development of these traits of interest.

This talk is part of the Melville Laboratory Seminars series.

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