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This paper describes a new evolutionary mechanism developed specifically for cellular circuits. Called morphogenetic system, it is inspired by the mechanisms of gene expression and cell differentiation found in living organisms. It will be used as the phylogenetic (evolutionary) mechanism in the POEtic project. The POEtic project will deliver an electronic circuit, called the POEtic circuit, with the capability to evolve (Phylogenesis), self-repair and grow (Ontogenesis) and learn (Epigenesis). The morphogenetic system is applied to the generation of patterns and to the evolution of spiking neural networks, with experiments of pattern recognition and obstacle avoidance with robots. Experimental results show that the morphogenetic system outperforms a direct genetic coding in several experiments.