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Journal Article

Redundancies, development and the flow of information

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Tautz, D. (1992). Redundancies, development and the flow of information. Bioessays, 14(4), 263-266. doi:10.1002/bies.950140410.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-0F13-1
There is increasing evidence for the wide-spread existence of functionally redundant genetic pathways in developmental processes. However, both their significance and manner of evolution are still matters of debate. I will argue here that redundancy of gene actions may, in fact, be a necessary requirement for the development and evolution of complex life forms. One can view development as a process that transmits information from the egg to the adult organism. Transmission of information is, however, always an error-prone process, which can only be safeguarded by including redundancies in the message. Molecular examples for well analysed redundant processes indicate that redundancies may best be understood within a conceptual framework of overlaps between different gene functions.