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A Single Origin for Nymphalid Butterfly Eyespots Followed by Widespread Loss of Associated Gene Expression

Figure 3

Regulatory network simplification in a complex trait.

Following the origin of a complex trait and its underlying developmental gene regulatory network, genes that are non-functional or unnecessary may be subsequently removed from the network (genes 2 and 3), without eliminating the trait. Genes expressed in homologous traits of all taxa may represent a ‘core network’ of regulatory elements (genes 1 and 4) that are necessary for the development of the novel trait.

Figure 3