On 17 January 2007 I deleted the links that were found on this page. They were links to a Christian Religious group which, while it discussed plasticity, it did so in an opinionative and non-substantiated scientific manner. They were blogs, in effect, and have no place in a scientific entry such as this one.
A highly illustrative example of phenotypic plasticity is found in the social insects, colonies of which depend on the division of their members into distinct castes, such as workers and guards. These two castes differ dramatically in appearance and behaviour. However, while these differences are genetic in basis, they are not inherited; they arise during development and depend on the manner of treatment of the eggs by the queen and the workers, who manipulate such factors as embryonic diet and incubation temperature. The genome of each individual contains all the instructions needed to develop into any one of several 'morphs', but only the genes that form part of one developmental program are activated.
- Emlen DJ, Nijhout HF (2000). "The development and evolution of exaggerated morphologies in insects". Annu. Rev. Entomol.. 45: 661–708. doi:10.1146/annurev.ento.45.1.661. PMID 10761593.
- Miura T (2005). "Developmental regulation of caste-specific characters in social-insect polyphenism". Evol. Dev.. 7 (2): 122–129. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2005.05014.x. PMID 15733310.