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Gill arch serial homology and the origin of jawed vertebrates

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The jawed vertebrate body plan is defined largely on the basis of two anatomical features: jaws and paired appendages. In the late 19th century, Carl Gegenbaur proposed that both jaws and paired fins were derived members of a primitive series of gill arches. These controversial hypotheses of serial homology were based largely on the pharyngeal endoskeletal anatomy of chondrichthyan fishes (e.g. sharks, skates and holocephalans). In this talk, I will give an overview of how I am using oviparous (e.g. egg-laying) chondrichthyan fishes as experimental embryological model systems, to determine the extent to which similarities in endoskeletal organization that led Gegenbaur to propose gill arch origins of jaws and fins reflect constraints imposed by common developmental mechanisms (i.e. serial homology), or rather convergent evolution.

This talk is part of the Evolution and Development Seminar Series series.

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