On unity in organisms and its evolution

J. E. Mittenthal, G. Caetano-Anollés

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We interpret unity in an organism as coordination that promotes economy, flexibility, and robustness, in a combination that aids persistence in a niche. We survey aspects of coordination, at the molecular level and in the physiology and development of cells and multicellular organisms. Combinations of economy, flexibility, and robustness can be used in a top-down strategy for designing networks of modules and regulation that produce appropriate coordination. Selection for these combinations has driven the evolution of modules through competitive optimization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUntangling Molecular Biodiversity
Subtitle of host publicationExplaining Unity And Diversity Principles Of Organization With Molecular Structure And Evolutionary Genomics
PublisherPeter Lang Publishing
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789814656627
ISBN (Print)9789814656610
StatePublished - Nov 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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