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Ancestral state reconstruction for regeneration and autotomy in arthopods and reptiles

Cite this dataset

Van Cleve, Jeremy; Dunoyer, Luc; Seifert, Ashley (2020). Ancestral state reconstruction for regeneration and autotomy in arthopods and reptiles [Dataset]. Dryad.


Some form of regeneration occurs in all lifeforms and extends from single-cell organisms to humans. The degree to which regenerative ability is distributed across different taxa, however, is harder to ascertain given the potential for phylogenetic constraint or inertia, and adaptive processes to shape this pattern. Here, we examine the phylogenetic history of regeneration in two groups where the trait has been well-studied: arthropods and reptiles. Because autotomy is often present alongside regeneration in these groups, we performed ancestral state reconstructions for both traits to more precisely assess the timing of their origins and the degree to which these traits coevolve. Using an ancestral trait reconstruction, we find that autotomy and regeneration were present at the base of the arthropod and reptile trees. We also find that when autotomy is lost it does not re-evolve easily. Lastly, we find that the distribution of regeneration is intimately connected to autotomy with the association being stronger in reptiles than in arthropods. While these patterns suggest that decoupling autotomy and regeneration at a broad phylogenetic scale may be difficult, the available data provides useful insight into their entanglement. Ultimately, our reconstructions provide important groundwork to explore how selection may have played a role during the loss of regeneration in specific lineages.


Please see manuscript.


National Science Foundation, Award: 1353713

National Science Foundation, Award: 1846260

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Award: R01AR070313