Preprint Hypothesis Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Unified Framework to Homologize Appendage Segments across Arthropoda

Version 1 : Received: 26 April 2020 / Approved: 29 April 2020 / Online: 29 April 2020 (10:45:14 CEST)

How to cite: Bruce, H.; Patel, N. A Unified Framework to Homologize Appendage Segments across Arthropoda. Preprints 2020, 2020040505 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0505.v1). Bruce, H.; Patel, N. A Unified Framework to Homologize Appendage Segments across Arthropoda. Preprints 2020, 2020040505 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0505.v1).

Abstract

How to align leg segments between the four groups of arthropods (insects, crustaceans, myriapods, and chelicerates) has tantalized researchers for over a century. By comparing the loss-of-function phenotypes of leg patterning genes in diverged arthropod taxa, including a crustacean, insects, and spiders, we show that all arthropod legs can be aligned in a one-to-one fashion. We propose a model wherein insects incorporated two proximal leg segments into the body wall, which moved the ancestral leg lobe (exite) up onto the back to later form wings. For myriapods and chelicerates with seven leg segments, it appears that one proximal leg segment was incorporated into the body wall. According to this model, the chelicerate exopod and the crustacean exopod emerge from different leg segments, and are therefore proposed to have arisen independently. A framework for how to align arthropod appendages now opens up a powerful system for studying the origins of novel structures, the plasticity of developmental fields, and convergent evolution.

Subject Areas

arthropod; appendage; novelty

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