Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 548081, 8 pages
Research Article

Investigating the Relationship between Topology and Evolution in a Dynamic Nematode Odor Genetic Network

1Genome Evolution Laboratory, Department of Biology, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
2Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, 333 Lisner Hall, 2023 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA
3Institute for Neuroscience, The George Washington University, 636 Ross Hall, 2300 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

Received 17 May 2012; Revised 6 August 2012; Accepted 29 August 2012

Academic Editor: Amitabh Joshi

Copyright © 2012 David A. Fitzpatrick and Damien M. O'Halloran. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The relationship between biological network architectures and evolution is unclear. Within the phylum nematoda olfaction represents a critical survival tool. For nematodes, olfaction contributes to multiple processes including the finding of food, hosts, and reproductive partners, making developmental decisions, and evading predators. Here we examine a dynamic nematode odor genetic network to investigate how divergence, diversity, and contribution are shaped by network topology. Our findings describe connectivity frameworks and characteristics that correlate with molecular evolution and contribution across the olfactory network. Our data helps guide the development of a robust evolutionary description of the nematode odor network that may eventually aid in the prediction of interactive and functional qualities of novel nodes.