Meeting Abstract

S3-1  Saturday, Jan. 4 08:00 - 08:30  The evolutionary developmental genetics of vertebrate tooth size HULSEY, CD; University of Konstanz, Germany

Tooth sizes vary extensively across vertebrates. Substantial amounts of this variation can be attributed to isometric scaling with changes in organismal body size, but there are a number of additional factors that influence diversification of tooth sizes. Trophic specializations such as crushing hard-shelled prey or piercing provide clear functional bases for predicting changes in tooth size components such as the width and length of teeth. However, teeth are also used for a large vareity of non-trophic organismal functions that could influence tooth size and these will be discussed as potential mechanisms of tooth size diversification. The developmental genetic mechanisms governing tooth size are likely to be equally diverse, and I will highlight recent insights into the mechanistic basis of vertebrate tooth size divergence gleaned from transcriptomics and comparative genomics of cichlid fishes.