Journal of General Biology

Vol. 63, No. 4, 2002

The problem of archaetype and current biology A. I. Shatalkin 275

Primate foot evolution: a new approach to the old problem I. A. Kolmanovsky 292

Current state of carotenoid biosynthesis in chloroplasts of eucaryotes V. G. Ladygin 299

Shape conservatism and shaping variability. The comparative analysis of Hydrozoa and Scyphozoa early development Yu. A. Kraus 326

Vector systems and rhythms in movements and orientation of elk (A ices alces L.) and other mammals V. A. Zaitsev 335

Optimization model of spatial population structure: example of poplar moth laying eggs on leaves 0. P. Sekretenko, V. G. Sukhovolsky, 0. V. Tarasova 351


On the book of Kooijman S.A.L.M. "Dynamic energy and mass budgets in biological systems" D. 0. Logofet. A. A. Efremov 361

On the book of Eskov K.Yu. "History of the Earth and life on it". Manual for senior pupils D.D. Sokolov 366

The Problem of Archaetype and Current Biology

A. I. Shatalkin

Zoological Museum, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow University, Bolshaya Nikitskaya ul. 6, Moscow 103009, Russia

Two ideas of homology - transformational and taxic - are used in biology. The first one deals with homology of different structures from morphological point of view, the second one - with the homology of characters. The main question of taxic homology is: in what cases the same character is not identical in two different species? Transformational homologies are determined according the archaetype, taxic ones - according inheritence from the common ancestor of comparing taxa. Archaetype is an idea of an organism from the position of its components. Archaetype should be distinguished from the type character, i.e. the description of an organism combining general and special features. The main idea of archaetype is an idea of coherence of characters describing morphological organization. Archaetype was considered by Owen as mechanical construction. As a matter of fact, the organism is a dynamic system Its dynamic nature can be demonstrated by the conception of module organization of living systems. In the framework of this conception archaetype is a description of an organism from constructive position, focused on the characters of the parts reflecting ontogenetic and evolutionary autonomy. The progress in developmental genetics in understanding of genetic mechanisms of spatial structure formation during the last years opens the wide perspectives in interpretation of archaetype idea. Homeobox family of genes of Hox complex is especially interesting from this point of view. They are characterized by colinearity: spatial and temporal sequence of their expression is corresponding to their order in chromosome. As it was shown by several experiments, changes in the level and sequence of expression of Hox genes result in the changes of archaetype. The discovery of homological genes determining non homological morphological structures in non related groups is a new challenge to morphologists studying the problem of homologies. The disagreements on this subject are connected with non critical use of transformational (archaetypical) and taxic approximations. From transformational positions, eyes of vertebrates and invertebrates are homological, although they have different structure. At the same time, if we specify what type of eyes we are considered, the results will change. Thus, compound eyes of insects and bivalve mollusk Area are not homological because they originated independently from forms without compound eyes.

Primate Foot Evolution: a New Approach to the Old Problem

I. A. Kolmanovsky

Dept. Vertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow University Moscow 119899, Russia, Vorob'evy Gory


Functional reasons for specific changes in mammal foot skeleton occurring in course of formation and progressive evolution of locomotion on the parasagittal extremities are formulated for the first time. The paper establishes the base of the study of highly parasagittal forms (terrestrial catarhine monkeys, man and his ancestors), that evolved in primate history much later then their counterparts in other orders. The foot of primitive primate (Lemur catta) is scrutinized as a model of a primitive foot structure, that determined the peculiarities of foot evolution in higher forms. Primate foot traits as elements of general mammal foot evolution are described. Some specializations of the primate foot to the arboreal habitats are concluded to preclude the primate foot from progressing to the state inherent in highly advanced parasagittal members of other mammalian orders.

Current State of Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Chloroplasts of Eucaryotes

V. G. Ladygin

Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Russian Academy of Science, Pushchino, Moscow region 142290, Russia e-mail:

The author discusses the current state of biochemical and genetic aspects of carotenoid biosynthesis in chloroplasts of algae and higher plants. Two ways of biosynthesis of key C5-isoperene units have been considered:

1) from acetate via mevalonic acid and its enzymatic conversions up to isopenthenyl diphosphate and 2) from glucose to formation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, to piruvate and their condensation via intermediate products up to isopenthenyl diphosphate. Futher biosynthesis of carotenoids from isopenthenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate in every organism is effected by the common scheme with further conservation of them up to geranyl diphosphate, farnesyi diphosphate, geranylgeranyl diphosphate (σΑΔ) and synthesis of phytoene. All stages of phytoene desaturation up to formation of acyclic compounds are discussed. It is shown how in the process of subsequent oxidation and formation ofhydroxy-, epoxyand oxo-groups cyclic xanthophylls in chloroplasts of plants and algae are formed. Genetic control over biosynthesis of carotenoids is discussed.

Shape Conservatism and Shaping Variability. The Comparative Analysis of Hydrozoa and Scyphozoa Early Development

Yu. A. Kraus

Dep. Theory of Evolution, Biological Faculty, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow University Moscow II9899, Russia


The morphogenetic pathways based on the self-organization take an important part in the early development of White Sea Cnidarians - Dynamena pumila (Hydrozoa) and Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa). Comparative analysis of their early development revealed two patterns of embryonic spatial structure reproduced in the morphogenesis of both species in spite of the differences of morphogenetic paths. These are toroidal and bilaterally symmetrical shapes. It is possible that these shapes correspond to the equilibrium states of developing system and their stable reproduction is a result of epigenetic rather than genetic program.

Vector Systems and Rhythms in Movements and Orientation of Elk (Alces alces L.) and Other Mammals

V. A. Zaitsev

Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Science, Leninsky prospect 33, Moscow 117140, Russia


The orientation of elk and other mammals studied in fields with visual and instrumental tracing has obviously hierarchical organization. Animals usually choose general direction headed for distant markers and then select short-distance landmarks. Movements of animals to distant and close landmarks is characterized by almost constant or regularly changing angles between main direction and movement vector. Fragments of trajectories represent left-side or right-side spirals with decreasing or increasing curvature according to the main direction. Three types of spirals differed by average values of initial angles are considered. Orientation to distant landmarks or along direction of movement possesses discrete reaction on the given landmarks and has some characters of iteration process. Special rhythms of activity (rhythms of orientation changing) participate in regulation of changing of movement directions and orientation reactions. They take part in formation ofsinusoid, spiral and other trajectories. Rhythmic regulation involves great statistical variability of parameters (lengths, angles, time periods between consecutive orientations) that can be adaptive meaning. Lengths of orientation vectors and trajectory fragments are similar to some linear elements of landscape. Angular parameters of orientation are more variable. The main ones are similar to the angular parameters of Earth rotation. It looks, that orientation parameters evolved under the influence of Sun-Earth compass in inertial field of Earth rotation.

Optimization Model of Spatial Population Structure: Example of Poplar Moth Laying Eggs on Leaves

0. P. Sekretenko, V. G. Sukhovolsky, 0. V. Tarasova

V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Russian Academy of Science, Siberian Branch, Academgorodok, Krasnoyarsk 660036, Russia


The authors analyze spatial distribution and survival of populations of poplar moth Litchcolletis populifoliella Tr. on its feeding plant - balsam poplar Populus balsamifera. Imago of the moth glue its eggs on the leaves thus determining the future location of their offspring on the host plant. Spatial distribution of eggs on leaf surface and distribution of leaves according egg numbers are not random. On the short distance from each egg the average number of eggs is less, than it should be in case of random distribution. While this distance increases up to some particular value the occurrence of eggs is higher than random. Thus, the eggs of moth are located by groups on the leaf surface. Within each group eggs are situated not very close to each other, this allowing larvae to lower competition for common resource. It is suggested that on the same feeding plant individuals have different interactions: competition, caused by limited quantity of resource and cooperation that is necessary to resist leaf defensive (antibiosis) reaction.