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Balancing Robustness and Evolvability

  • Richard E Lenski mail,

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

  • Jeffrey E Barrick,
  • Charles Ofria
  • Published: December 12, 2006
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0040428

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Genetic Assimilation - Robustness leading to evolvability

Posted by plosbiology on 07 May 2009 at 22:18 GMT

Author: Dan Eisenberg
Position: Student
Institution: Northwestern University
Submitted Date: May 24, 2007
Published Date: May 25, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

For another example of robustness leading to increased evolvability, one may wish to review the literature on genetic assimilation. While the idea has fallen out of favor, Massimo Pigliucci has recently written about its importance.
More information on this idea can be found on Dr. Pigliucci's website:

Or in the following article
Review Article: Phenotypic Plasticity in Evolution
Phenotypic plasticity and evolution by genetic assimilation
Massimo Pigliucci, Courtney J. Murren, and Carl D. Schlichting
Journal of Experimental Biology 209, 2362-2367 (2006)

No competing interests declared.