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Old, new and new-old concepts about the evolution of teeth
Witten, P.E.; Sire, Y; Huysseune, A. (2014). Old, new and new-old concepts about the evolution of teeth. J. Appl. Ichthyol. 30(4): 636-642.
In: Journal of Applied Ichthyology = Zeitschrift für angewandte Ichthyologie. Blackwell: Berlin. ISSN 0175-8659; e-ISSN 1439-0426, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 278991 [ OMA ]

Authors  Top 
  • Witten, P.E., more
  • Sire, Y
  • Huysseune, A., more

    The evolutionary origin of teeth from dermal denticles (odontodes) that developed in the mouth cavity, designated as outside-in hypothesis, has long been undisputed. The outside-in hypothesis is based on the conclusion that dermal denticles and teeth fulfil the criteria of homology in an exemplary manner. Over the past 15 years, this hypothesis has been challenged. Proponents of the alternative inside-out hypothesis suggest that teeth did not evolve from dermal denticles, that they are of endodermal origin (forming in conjunction with neural crest-derived mesenchyme) and that they evolved several times independently in different lineages of vertebrates. Key arguments for the inside-out hypothesis are mineralized structures of conodonts that are accepted as teeth, the exclusive acceptance of placoderm pharyngeal denticles as teeth, together with the rejection of the presence of teeth in basal placoderms. We summarize the results of recent studies that have been triggered by the fruitful discussion between the two conflicting hypotheses. New findings support the traditional outside-in hypothesis: the mineralized elements of conodonts are not teeth, and the oral cusps in basal placoderms are true teeth. Furthermore, new developmental and molecular data clarify homology between teeth and dermal denticles. Today a new synthesis is emerging about the evolutionary origin of teeth from dermal denticles and about the unity of the elements of the dermal skeleton.

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