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nonhereditary changes caused in the somatic cells of an organism by factors from the environment. Morphoses arise as a result of the disruption of the normal function of the genes.
Typical morphoses are created under experimental conditions when the developing organism is treated with certain chemical substances (chemomorphoses) or with ionizing radiation (radiomorphoses). Thus, when Drosophila larvae are exposed to X rays, up to 100 percent of individuals have homotypic morphoses (divaricate or notched wings) that imitate mutations. Although morphoses usually present marked deviations from parental forms, they are nonadaptive.