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Sample records for bilaterian symsagittifera roscoffensis

  1. Stable photosymbiotic relationship under CO₂-induced acidification in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis.

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    Sam Dupont

    Full Text Available As a consequence of anthropogenic CO₂ emissions, oceans are becoming more acidic, a phenomenon known as ocean acidification. Many marine species predicted to be sensitive to this stressor are photosymbiotic, including corals and foraminifera. However, the direct impact of ocean acidification on the relationship between the photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic organism remains unclear and is complicated by other physiological processes known to be sensitive to ocean acidification (e.g. calcification and feeding. We have studied the impact of extreme pH decrease/pCO₂ increase on the complete life cycle of the photosymbiotic, non-calcifying and pure autotrophic acoel worm, Symsagittifera roscoffensis. Our results show that this species is resistant to high pCO₂ with no negative or even positive effects on fitness (survival, growth, fertility and/or photosymbiotic relationship till pCO₂ up to 54 K µatm. Some sub-lethal bleaching is only observed at pCO₂ up to 270 K µatm when seawater is saturated by CO₂. This indicates that photosymbiosis can be resistant to high pCO₂. If such a finding would be confirmed in other photosymbiotic species, we could then hypothesize that negative impact of high pCO₂ observed on other photosymbiotic species such as corals and foraminifera could occur through indirect impacts at other levels (calcification, feeding.

  2. Simulating CO₂ leakages from CCS to determine Zn toxicity using the marine microalgae Pleurochrysis roscoffensis.

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    Bautista-Chamizo, Esther; De Orte, Manoela Romanó; DelValls, Tomás Ángel; Riba, Inmaculada

    2016-02-01

    Due to the current climate change and ocean acidification, a new technology for CO2 mitigation has been proposed, the Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS). However, there is an ecological risk associated with potential CO2 leakages from the sub-seabed storages sites. To evaluate the effects related to CO2 leakages, laboratory-scales experiments were performed using the marine microalgae Pleurochrysis roscoffensis. Five Zn concentrations were tested at different pHs to study Zn toxicity under acidified conditions. Seawater was collected and submitted to acidification by means of CO2 injection and by HCl addition. Results showed differences between both acidification techniques: while microalgae growth was enhanced by CO2 supply, reaching the optimal growth at pH 6.5 and full inhibition at pH 5.5, HCl acidification growth was inhibited at pH 6.5. Although small concentrations of Zn were positive for P. roscoffensis growth, Zn toxicity increased at lower pHs, and more severely on samples acidified with HCl. The conclusions obtained in this work are useful to address the potential effects on the marine ecosystem related to changes in metal bioavailability during CO2 leakages scenarios. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Evo-devo of non-bilaterian animals

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    Emilio Lanna

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The non-bilaterian animals comprise organisms in the phyla Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora and Placozoa. These early-diverging phyla are pivotal to understanding the evolution of bilaterian animals. After the exponential increase in research in evolutionary development (evo-devo in the last two decades, these organisms are again in the spotlight of evolutionary biology. In this work, I briefly review some aspects of the developmental biology of nonbilaterians that contribute to understanding the evolution of development and of the metazoans. The evolution of the developmental genetic toolkit, embryonic polarization, the origin of gastrulation and mesodermal cells, and the origin of neural cells are discussed. The possibility that germline and stem cell lineages have the same origin is also examined. Although a considerable number of non-bilaterian species are already being investigated, the use of species belonging to different branches of non-bilaterian lineages and functional experimentation with gene manipulation in the majority of the non-bilaterian lineages will be necessary for further progress in this field.

  4. Molecular evolution of peptidergic signaling systems in bilaterians

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    Mirabeau, Olivier; Joly, Jean-Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    Peptide hormones and their receptors are widespread in metazoans, but the knowledge we have of their evolutionary relationships remains unclear. Recently, accumulating genome sequences from many different species have offered the opportunity to reassess the relationships between protostomian and deuterostomian peptidergic systems (PSs). Here we used sequences of all human rhodopsin and secretin-type G protein-coupled receptors as bait to retrieve potential homologs in the genomes of 15 bilaterian species, including nonchordate deuterostomian and lophotrochozoan species. Our phylogenetic analysis of these receptors revealed 29 well-supported subtrees containing mixed sets of protostomian and deuterostomian sequences. This indicated that many vertebrate and arthropod PSs that were previously thought to be phyla specific are in fact of bilaterian origin. By screening sequence databases for potential peptides, we then reconstructed entire bilaterian peptide families and showed that protostomian and deuterostomian peptides that are ligands of orthologous receptors displayed some similarity at the level of their primary sequence, suggesting an ancient coevolution between peptide and receptor genes. In addition to shedding light on the function of human G protein-coupled receptor PSs, this work presents orthology markers to study ancestral neuron types that were probably present in the last common bilaterian ancestor. PMID:23671109

  5. Insights into bilaterian evolution from three spiralian genomes

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    Simakov, Oleg; Marletaz, Ferdinand; Cho, Sung-Jin; Edsinger-Gonzales, Eric; Havlak, Paul; Hellsten, Uffe; Kuo, Dian-Han; Larsson, Tomas; Lv, Jie; Arendt, Detlev; Savage, Robert; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; de Jong, Pieter; Grimwood, Jane; Chapman, Jarrod A.; Shapiro, Harris; Otillar, Robert P.; Terry, Astrid Y.; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Lindberg, David R.; Seaver, Elaine C.; Weisblat, David A.; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.; Aerts, Andrea

    2012-01-07

    Current genomic perspectives on animal diversity neglect two prominent phyla, the molluscs and annelids, that together account for nearly one-third of known marine species and are important both ecologically and as experimental systems in classical embryology1, 2, 3. Here we describe the draft genomes of the owl limpet (Lottia gigantea), a marine polychaete (Capitella teleta) and a freshwater leech (Helobdella robusta), and compare them with other animal genomes to investigate the origin and diversification of bilaterians from a genomic perspective. We find that the genome organization, gene structure and functional content of these species are more similar to those of some invertebrate deuterostome genomes (for example, amphioxus and sea urchin) than those of other protostomes that have been sequenced to date (flies, nematodes and flatworms). The conservation of these genomic features enables us to expand the inventory of genes present in the last common bilaterian ancestor, establish the tripartite diversification of bilaterians using multiple genomic characteristics and identify ancient conserved long- and short-range genetic linkages across metazoans. Superimposed on this broadly conserved pan-bilaterian background we find examples of lineage-specific genome evolution, including varying rates of rearrangement, intron gain and loss, expansions and contractions of gene families, and the evolution of clade-specific genes that produce the unique content of each genome.

  6. Conserved gene regulatory module specifies lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

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    Li, Yongbin; Zhao, Di; Horie, Takeo; Chen, Geng; Bao, Hongcun; Chen, Siyu; Liu, Weihong; Horie, Ryoko; Liang, Tao; Dong, Biyu; Feng, Qianqian; Tao, Qinghua; Liu, Xiao

    2017-08-01

    The lateral neural plate border (NPB), the neural part of the vertebrate neural border, is composed of central nervous system (CNS) progenitors and peripheral nervous system (PNS) progenitors. In invertebrates, PNS progenitors are also juxtaposed to the lateral boundary of the CNS. Whether there are conserved molecular mechanisms determining vertebrate and invertebrate lateral neural borders remains unclear. Using single-cell-resolution gene-expression profiling and genetic analysis, we present evidence that orthologs of the NPB specification module specify the invertebrate lateral neural border, which is composed of CNS and PNS progenitors. First, like in vertebrates, the conserved neuroectoderm lateral border specifier Msx/vab-15 specifies lateral neuroblasts in Caenorhabditis elegans Second, orthologs of the vertebrate NPB specification module ( Msx/vab-15 , Pax3/7/pax-3 , and Zic/ref-2 ) are significantly enriched in worm lateral neuroblasts. In addition, like in other bilaterians, the expression domain of Msx/vab-15 is more lateral than those of Pax3/7/pax-3 and Zic/ref- 2 in C. elegans Third, we show that Msx/vab-15 regulates the development of mechanosensory neurons derived from lateral neural progenitors in multiple invertebrate species, including C. elegans , Drosophila melanogaster , and Ciona intestinalis We also identify a novel lateral neural border specifier, ZNF703/tlp-1 , which functions synergistically with Msx/vab- 15 in both C. elegans and Xenopus laevis These data suggest a common origin of the molecular mechanism specifying lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

  7. Evolution of bilaterian central nervous systems: a single origin?

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    2013-01-01

    The question of whether the ancestral bilaterian had a central nervous system (CNS) or a diffuse ectodermal nervous system has been hotly debated. Considerable evidence supports the theory that a CNS evolved just once. However, an alternative view proposes that the chordate CNS evolved from the ectodermal nerve net of a hemichordate-like ancestral deuterostome, implying independent evolution of the CNS in chordates and protostomes. To specify morphological divisions along the anterior/posterior axis, this ancestor used gene networks homologous to those patterning three organizing centers in the vertebrate brain: the anterior neural ridge, the zona limitans intrathalamica and the isthmic organizer, and subsequent evolution of the vertebrate brain involved elaboration of these ancestral signaling centers; however, all or part of these signaling centers were lost from the CNS of invertebrate chordates. The present review analyzes the evidence for and against these theories. The bulk of the evidence indicates that a CNS evolved just once – in the ancestral bilaterian. Importantly, in both protostomes and deuterostomes, the CNS represents a portion of a generally neurogenic ectoderm that is internalized and receives and integrates inputs from sensory cells in the remainder of the ectoderm. The expression patterns of genes involved in medio/lateral (dorso/ventral) patterning of the CNS are similar in protostomes and chordates; however, these genes are not similarly expressed in the ectoderm outside the CNS. Thus, their expression is a better criterion for CNS homologs than the expression of anterior/posterior patterning genes, many of which (for example, Hox genes) are similarly expressed both in the CNS and in the remainder of the ectoderm in many bilaterians. The evidence leaves hemichordates in an ambiguous position – either CNS centralization was lost to some extent at the base of the hemichordates, or even earlier, at the base of the hemichordates

  8. /sup 14/CO/sub 2/-fixation by the endosymbiotic Platymonas convolutae within the turbellarian Convoluta roscoffensis

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    Kremer, B P [Koeln Univ. (F.R. Germany). Botanisches Inst.

    1975-01-01

    Photosynthetic assimilation of /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ by the symbiotic green alga Platymonas convolutae Parke et Manton in the marine flatworm Convoluta roscoffensis Graff has been investigated and compared with that in free-living P. subcordiformis and P. tetrathele. All Platymonas species investigated rapidly incorporate /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ into a complex variety of soluble and insoluble assimilates. The rate of dark fixation is considerably lower in P. convolutae. Typical /sup 14/C-assimilate patterns are rather uniform in all Platymonas species, but the time courses of /sup 14/C-labelling of several compounds are very different. The percentage of /sup 14/C-aspartate and /sup 14/C-malate is significantly higher in P. convolutae after short-term-photosynthesis, whereas /sup 14/C-labelled phosphate esters predominate in the free-living Platymonas species. A comparison of the kinetics of /sup 14/C-labelling and of the distribution of /sup 14/C-activity between soluble and insoluble fractions suggests that glucose and fructose, not mannitol, as well as several amimo acids (especially alanine) move from the algal partner to the tissue of the animal host. The significance of these findings is discussed.

  9. Distinguishing geology from biology in the Ediacaran Doushantuo biota relaxes constraints on the timing of the origin of bilaterians.

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    Cunningham, John A; Thomas, Ceri-Wyn; Bengtson, Stefan; Kearns, Stuart L; Xiao, Shuhai; Marone, Federica; Stampanoni, Marco; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2012-06-22

    The Ediacaran Doushantuo biota has yielded fossils that include the oldest widely accepted record of the animal evolutionary lineage, as well as specimens with alleged bilaterian affinity. However, these systematic interpretations are contingent on the presence of key biological structures that have been reinterpreted by some workers as artefacts of diagenetic mineralization. On the basis of chemistry and crystallographic fabric, we characterize and discriminate phases of mineralization that reflect: (i) replication of original biological structure, and (ii) void-filling diagenetic mineralization. The results indicate that all fossils from the Doushantuo assemblage preserve a complex mélange of mineral phases, even where subcellular anatomy appears to be preserved. The findings allow these phases to be distinguished in more controversial fossils, facilitating a critical re-evaluation of the Doushantuo fossil assemblage and its implications as an archive of Ediacaran animal diversity. We find that putative subcellular structures exhibit fabrics consistent with preservation of original morphology. Cells in later developmental stages are not in original configuration and are therefore uninformative concerning gastrulation. Key structures used to identify Doushantuo bilaterians can be dismissed as late diagenetic artefacts. Therefore, when diagenetic mineralization is considered, there is no convincing evidence for bilaterians in the Doushantuo assemblage.

  10. Conserved role of the Vsx genes supports a monophyletic origin for bilaterian visual systems.

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    Erclik, Ted; Hartenstein, Volker; Lipshitz, Howard D; McInnes, Roderick R

    2008-09-09

    Components of the genetic network specifying eye development are conserved from flies to humans, but homologies between individual neuronal cell types have been difficult to identify. In the vertebrate retina, the homeodomain-containing transcription factor Chx10 is required for both progenitor cell proliferation and the development of the bipolar interneurons, which transmit visual signals from photoreceptors to ganglion cells. We show that dVsx1 and dVsx2, the two Drosophila homologs of Chx10, play a conserved role in visual-system development. DVSX1 is expressed in optic-lobe progenitor cells, and, in dVsx1 mutants, progenitor cell proliferation is defective, leading to hypocellularity. Subsequently, DVSX1 and DVSX2 are coexpressed in a subset of neurons in the medulla, including the transmedullary neurons that transmit visual information from photoreceptors to deeper layers of the visual system. In dVsx mutant adults, the optic lobe is reduced in size, and the medulla is small or absent. These results suggest that the progenitor cells and photoreceptor target neurons of the vertebrate retina and fly optic lobe are ancestrally related. Genetic and functional homology may extend to the neurons directly downstream of the bipolar and transmedullary neurons, the vertebrate ganglion cells and fly lobula projection neurons. Both cell types project to visual-processing centers in the brain, and both sequentially express the Math5/ATO and Brn3b/ACJ6 transcription factors during their development. Our findings support a monophyletic origin for the bilaterian visual system in which the last common ancestor of flies and vertebrates already contained a primordial visual system with photoreceptors, interneurons, and projection neurons.

  11. Broad Phylogenetic Occurrence of the Oxygen-Binding Hemerythrins in Bilaterians.

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    Costa-Paiva, Elisa M; Schrago, Carlos G; Halanych, Kenneth M

    2017-10-01

    Animal tissues need to be properly oxygenated for carrying out catabolic respiration and, as such, natural selection has presumably favored special molecules that can reversibly bind and transport oxygen. Hemoglobins, hemocyanins, and hemerythrins (Hrs) fulfill this role, with Hrs being the least studied. Knowledge of oxygen-binding proteins is crucial for understanding animal physiology. Hr genes are present in the three domains of life, Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukaryota; however, within Animalia, Hrs has been reported only in marine species in six phyla (Annelida, Brachiopoda, Priapulida, Bryozoa, Cnidaria, and Arthropoda). Given this observed Hr distribution, whether all metazoan Hrs share a common origin is circumspect. We investigated Hr diversity and evolution in metazoans, by employing in silico approaches to survey for Hrs from of 120 metazoan transcriptomes and genomes. We found 58 candidate Hr genes actively transcribed in 36 species distributed in 11 animal phyla, with new records in Echinodermata, Hemichordata, Mollusca, Nemertea, Phoronida, and Platyhelminthes. Moreover, we found that "Hrs" reported from Cnidaria and Arthropoda were not consistent with that of other metazoan Hrs. Contrary to previous suggestions that Hr genes were absent in deuterostomes, we find Hr genes present in deuterostomes and were likely present in early bilaterians, but not in nonbilaterian animal lineages. As expected, the Hr gene tree did not mirror metazoan phylogeny, suggesting that Hrs evolutionary history was complex and besides the oxygen carrying capacity, the drivers of Hr evolution may also consist of secondary functional specializations of the proteins, like immunological functions. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  12. T-box and homeobox genes from the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus: comparison of Brachyury, Tbx2/3 and Tlx in basal metazoans and bilaterians.

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    Martinelli, Cosimo; Spring, Jürg

    2005-09-12

    Most animals are classified as Bilateria and only four phyla are still extant as outgroups, namely Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria and Ctenophora. These non-bilaterians were not considered to have a mesoderm and hence mesoderm-specific genes. However, the T-box gene Brachyury could be isolated from sponges, placozoans and cnidarians. Here, we describe the first Brachyury and a Tbx2/3 homologue from a ctenophore. In addition, analysing T-box and homeobox genes under comparable conditions in all four basal phyla lead to the discovery of novel T-box genes in sponges and cnidarians and a Tlx homeobox gene in the ctenophore Pleurobrachia pileus. The conservation of the T-box and the homeobox genes suggest that distinct subfamilies with different roles in bilaterians were already split in non-bilaterians.

  13. Embryonic left-right separation mechanism allows confinement of mutation-induced phenotypes to one lateral body half of bilaterians.

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    Ma, Kun

    2013-12-01

    A fundamental question in developmental biology is how a chimeric animal such as a bilateral gynandromorphic animal can have different phenotypes confined to different lateral body halves, and how mutation-induced phenotypes, such as genetic diseases, can be confined to one lateral body half in patients. Here, I propose that embryos of many, if not all, bilaterian animals are divided into left and right halves at a very early stage (which may vary among different types of animals), after which the descendants of the left-sided and right-sided cells will almost exclusively remain on their original sides, respectively, throughout the remaining development. This embryonic left-right separation mechanism allows (1) mutations and the mutation-induced phenotypes to be strictly confined to one lateral body half in animals and humans; (2) mothers with bilateral hereditary primary breast cancer to transmit their disease to their offspring at twofold of the rate compared to mothers with unilateral hereditary breast cancer; and (3) a mosaic embryo carrying genetic or epigenetic mutations to develop into either an individual with the mutation-induced phenotype confined unilaterally, or a pair of twins displaying complete, partial, or mirror-image discordance for the phenotype. Further, this left-right separation mechanism predicts that the two lateral halves of a patient carrying a unilateral genetic disease can each serve as a case and an internal control, respectively, for genetic and epigenetic comparative studies to identify the disease causations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. A new look at the ventral nerve centre of Sagitta: implications for the phylogenetic position of Chaetognatha (arrow worms and the evolution of the bilaterian nervous system

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    Müller Carsten HG

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Chaetognatha (arrow worms are a group of marine carnivores whose phylogenetic relationships are still vigorously debated. Molecular studies have as yet failed to come up with a stable hypothesis on their phylogenetic position. In a wide range of metazoans, the nervous system has proven to provide a wealth of characters for analysing phylogenetic relationships (neurophylogeny. Therefore, in the present study we explored the structure of the ventral nerve centre ("ventral ganglion" in Sagitta setosa with a set of histochemical and immunohistochemical markers. Results In specimens that were immunolabeled for acetylated-alpha tubulin the ventral nerve centre appeared to be a condensed continuation of the peripheral intraepidermal nerve plexus. Yet, synapsin immunolocalization showed that the ventral nerve centre is organized into a highly ordered array of ca. 80 serially arranged microcompartments. Immunohistochemistry against RFamide revealed a set of serially arranged individually identifiable neurons in the ventral nerve centre that we charted in detail. Conclusion The new information on the structure of the chaetognath nervous system is compared to previous descriptions of the ventral nerve centre which are critically evaluated. Our findings are discussed with regard to the debate on nervous system organisation in the last common bilaterian ancestor and with regard to the phylogenetic affinities of this Chaetognatha. We suggest to place the Chaetognatha within the Protostomia and argue against hypotheses which propose a deuterostome affinity of Chaetognatha or a sister-group relationship to all other Bilateria.

  15. Social behaviour and collective motion in plant-animal worms.

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    Franks, Nigel R; Worley, Alan; Grant, Katherine A J; Gorman, Alice R; Vizard, Victoria; Plackett, Harriet; Doran, Carolina; Gamble, Margaret L; Stumpe, Martin C; Sendova-Franks, Ana B

    2016-02-24

    Social behaviour may enable organisms to occupy ecological niches that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Here, we test this major evolutionary principle by demonstrating self-organizing social behaviour in the plant-animal, Symsagittifera roscoffensis. These marine aceol flat worms rely for all of their nutrition on the algae within their bodies: hence their common name. We show that individual worms interact with one another to coordinate their movements so that even at low densities they begin to swim in small polarized groups and at increasing densities such flotillas turn into circular mills. We use computer simulations to: (i) determine if real worms interact socially by comparing them with virtual worms that do not interact and (ii) show that the social phase transitions of the real worms can occur based only on local interactions between and among them. We hypothesize that such social behaviour helps the worms to form the dense biofilms or mats observed on certain sun-exposed sandy beaches in the upper intertidal of the East Atlantic and to become in effect a super-organismic seaweed in a habitat where macro-algal seaweeds cannot anchor themselves. Symsagittifera roscoffensis, a model organism in many other areas in biology (including stem cell regeneration), also seems to be an ideal model for understanding how individual behaviours can lead, through collective movement, to social assemblages. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Dendrogramma, new genus, with two new non-bilaterian species from the marine bathyal of southeastern Australia (Animalia, Metazoa incertae sedis--with similarities to some medusoids from the Precambrian Ediacara.

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    Jean Just

    Full Text Available A new genus, Dendrogramma, with two new species of multicellular, non-bilaterian, mesogleal animals with some bilateral aspects, D. enigmatica and D. discoides, are described from the south-east Australian bathyal (400 and 1000 metres depth. A new family, Dendrogrammatidae, is established for Dendrogramma. These mushroom-shaped organisms cannot be referred to either of the two phyla Ctenophora or Cnidaria at present, because they lack any specialised characters of these taxa. Resolving the phylogenetic position of Dendrogramma depends much on how the basal metazoan lineages (Ctenophora, Porifera, Placozoa, Cnidaria, and Bilateria are related to each other, a question still under debate. At least Dendrogramma must have branched off before Bilateria and is possibly related to Ctenophora and/or Cnidaria. Dendrogramma, therefore, is referred to Metazoa incertae sedis. The specimens were fixed in neutral formaldehyde and stored in 80% ethanol and are not suitable for molecular analysis. We recommend, therefore, that attempts be made to secure new material for further study. Finally similarities between Dendrogramma and a group of Ediacaran (Vendian medusoids are discussed.

  17. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

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    Takaku, Yasuharu; Hwang, Jung Shan; Wolf, Alexander; Bö ttger, Angelika; Shimizu, Hiroshi; David, Charles N.; Gojobori, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential

  18. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma

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    Hammel, J. U.; Herzen, J.; Beckmann, F.; Nickel, M.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation ...

  19. Zoology: Invertebrates that Parasitize Invertebrates.

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    Giribet, Gonzalo

    2016-07-11

    The genome of an orthonectid, a group of highly modified parasitic invertebrates, is drastically reduced and compact, yet it shows the bilaterian gene toolkit. Phylogenetic analyses place the enigmatic orthonectids within Spiralia, although their exact placement remains uncertain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Domain analysis of the Nematostella vectensis SNAIL ortholog reveals unique nucleolar localization that depends on the zinc-finger domains

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    Dattoli, A.A.; Hink, M.A.; DuBuc, T.Q.; Teunisse, B.J.; Goedhart, J.; Röttinger, E.; Postma, M.

    2015-01-01

    SNAIL transcriptional factors are key regulators during development and disease. They arose early during evolution, and in cnidarians such as Nematostella vectensis, NvSNAILA/B are detected in invaginating tissues during gastrulation. The function of SNAIL proteins is well established in bilaterians

  1. Evolution of microRNA diversity and regulation in animals

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    Berezikov, E.

    2011-01-01

    In the past decade, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been uncovered as key regulators of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The ancient origin of miRNAs, their dramatic expansion in bilaterian animals and their function in providing robustness to transcriptional programmes suggest that miRNAs

  2. An EST screen from the annelid Pomatoceros lamarckii reveals patterns of gene loss and gain in animals

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    Chen Wei-Chung

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since the drastic reorganisation of the phylogeny of the animal kingdom into three major clades of bilaterians; Ecdysozoa, Lophotrochozoa and Deuterostomia, it became glaringly obvious that the selection of model systems with extensive molecular resources was heavily biased towards only two of these three clades, namely the Ecdysozoa and Deuterostomia. Increasing efforts have been put towards redressing this imbalance in recent years, and one of the principal phyla in the vanguard of this endeavour is the Annelida. Results In the context of this effort we here report our characterisation of an Expressed Sequence Tag (EST screen in the serpulid annelid, Pomatoceros lamarckii. We have sequenced over 5,000 ESTs which consolidate into over 2,000 sequences (clusters and singletons. These sequences are used to build phylogenetic trees to estimate relative branch lengths amongst different taxa and, by comparison to genomic data from other animals, patterns of gene retention and loss are deduced. Conclusion The molecular phylogenetic trees including the P. lamarckii sequences extend early observations that polychaetes tend to have relatively short branches in such trees, and hence are useful taxa with which to reconstruct gene family evolution. Also, with the availability of lophotrochozoan data such as that of P. lamarckii, it is now possible to make much more accurate reconstructions of the gene complement of the ancestor of the bilaterians than was previously possible from comparisons of ecdysozoan and deuterostome genomes to non-bilaterian outgroups. It is clear that the traditional molecular model systems for protostomes (e.g. Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, which are restricted to the Ecdysozoa, have undergone extensive gene loss during evolution. These ecdysozoan systems, in terms of gene content, are thus more derived from the bilaterian ancestral condition than lophotrochozoan systems like the polychaetes

  3. The homeobox gene Msx in development and transdifferentiation of jellyfish striated muscle.

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    Galle, Sabina; Yanze, Nathalie; Seipel, Katja

    2005-01-01

    Bilaterian Msx homeobox genes are generally expressed in areas of cell proliferation and in association with multipotent progenitor cells. Likewise, jellyfish Msx is expressed in progenitor cells of the developing entocodon, a cell layer giving rise to the striated and smooth muscles of the medusa. However, in contrast to the bilaterian homologs, Msx gene expression is maintained at high levels in the differentiated striated muscle of the medusa in vivo and in vitro. This tissue exhibits reprogramming competence. Upon induction, the Msx gene is immediately switched off in the isolated striated muscle undergoing transdifferentiation, to be upregulated again in the emerging smooth muscle cells which, in a stem cell like manner, undergo quantal cell divisions producing two cell types, a proliferating smooth muscle cell and a differentiating nerve cell. This study indicates that the Msx protein may be a key component of the reprogramming machinery responsible for the extraordinary transdifferentation and regeneration potential of striated muscle in the hydrozoan jellyfish.

  4. Are Hox genes ancestrally involved in axial patterning? Evidence from the hydrozoan Clytia hemisphaerica (Cnidaria.

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    Roxane Chiori

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The early evolution and diversification of Hox-related genes in eumetazoans has been the subject of conflicting hypotheses concerning the evolutionary conservation of their role in axial patterning and the pre-bilaterian origin of the Hox and ParaHox clusters. The diversification of Hox/ParaHox genes clearly predates the origin of bilaterians. However, the existence of a "Hox code" predating the cnidarian-bilaterian ancestor and supporting the deep homology of axes is more controversial. This assumption was mainly based on the interpretation of Hox expression data from the sea anemone, but growing evidence from other cnidarian taxa puts into question this hypothesis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Hox, ParaHox and Hox-related genes have been investigated here by phylogenetic analysis and in situ hybridisation in Clytia hemisphaerica, an hydrozoan species with medusa and polyp stages alternating in the life cycle. Our phylogenetic analyses do not support an origin of ParaHox and Hox genes by duplication of an ancestral ProtoHox cluster, and reveal a diversification of the cnidarian HOX9-14 genes into three groups called A, B, C. Among the 7 examined genes, only those belonging to the HOX9-14 and the CDX groups exhibit a restricted expression along the oral-aboral axis during development and in the planula larva, while the others are expressed in very specialised areas at the medusa stage. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Cross species comparison reveals a strong variability of gene expression along the oral-aboral axis and during the life cycle among cnidarian lineages. The most parsimonious interpretation is that the Hox code, collinearity and conservative role along the antero-posterior axis are bilaterian innovations.

  5. Not armour, but biomechanics, ecological opportunity and increased fecundity as keys to the origin and expansion of the mineralized benthic metazoan fauna

    OpenAIRE

    Cohen, B.L.

    2005-01-01

    This paper offers a new biotic interaction hypothesis for the Cambrian 'explosion' of mineralized, benthic, metazoan diversity. It proposes that organic-mineral composite structures (e.g. shells and muscle lever-arms) originated in Proterozoic lineages of primary larva-like, but reproductively competent, pelagic bilaterians because mineralization was both mechanically and energetically favourable, not because it provided armour against predation. Increased strength and rigidity of composite s...

  6. Calcisponges have a ParaHox gene and dynamic expression of dispersed NK homeobox genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato, Sofia A V; Adamski, Marcin; Ramos, Olivia Mendivil; Leininger, Sven; Liu, Jing; Ferrier, David E K; Adamska, Maja

    2014-10-30

    Sponges are simple animals with few cell types, but their genomes paradoxically contain a wide variety of developmental transcription factors, including homeobox genes belonging to the Antennapedia (ANTP) class, which in bilaterians encompass Hox, ParaHox and NK genes. In the genome of the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica, no Hox or ParaHox genes are present, but NK genes are linked in a tight cluster similar to the NK clusters of bilaterians. It has been proposed that Hox and ParaHox genes originated from NK cluster genes after divergence of sponges from the lineage leading to cnidarians and bilaterians. On the other hand, synteny analysis lends support to the notion that the absence of Hox and ParaHox genes in Amphimedon is a result of secondary loss (the ghost locus hypothesis). Here we analysed complete suites of ANTP-class homeoboxes in two calcareous sponges, Sycon ciliatum and Leucosolenia complicata. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that these calcisponges possess orthologues of bilaterian NK genes (Hex, Hmx and Msx), a varying number of additional NK genes and one ParaHox gene, Cdx. Despite the generation of scaffolds spanning multiple genes, we find no evidence of clustering of Sycon NK genes. All Sycon ANTP-class genes are developmentally expressed, with patterns suggesting their involvement in cell type specification in embryos and adults, metamorphosis and body plan patterning. These results demonstrate that ParaHox genes predate the origin of sponges, thus confirming the ghost locus hypothesis, and highlight the need to analyse the genomes of multiple sponge lineages to obtain a complete picture of the ancestral composition of the first animal genome.

  7. Left-Right Asymmetry Is Required for the Habenulae to Respond to Both Visual and Olfactory Stimuli

    OpenAIRE

    Dreosti, Elena; Vendrell Llopis, Nuria; Carl, Matthias; Yaksi, Emre; Wilson, Stephen W.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Left-right asymmetries are most likely a universal feature of bilaterian nervous systems and may serve to increase neural capacity by specializing equivalent structures on left and right sides for distinct roles [1]. However, little is known about how asymmetries are encoded within vertebrate neural circuits and how lateralization influences processing of information in the brain. Consequently, it remains unclear the extent to which lateralization of the nervous system is important fo...

  8. Ancient connection between NKL genes and the mesoderm? Insights from Tlx expression in a ctenophore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derelle, Romain; Manuel, Michaël

    2007-04-01

    In recent years, evo-devo studies on non-bilaterian metazoans have improved our understanding of the early evolution of animal body plans. In particular, works on cnidarians suggested that contrary to classical views, the mesoderm originated far before the emergence of the Bilateria. In this context, a synthesis of genomic and functional data concerning the Antennapedia (Antp) superclass of homeobox genes suggested that early in animal evolution, each of the three germ layers was under the control of one cluster of Antp genes. In particular, the patterning and differentiation of the mesoderm was under the control of the NKL cluster. The ctenophores stand as a key taxon with respect to such issues because unlike other non-bilaterian phyla, their intermediate germ layer satisfies the strict embryological definition of a mesoderm. For that reason, we investigated the only known member of the NKL group in Ctenophora, a gene previously isolated from Pleurobrachia and attributed to the Tlx family. In our analysis of the NKL group, this ctenophore gene branches as the sister-group of bilaterian Tlx genes, but without statistical support. The expression pattern of this gene was revealed by in situ hybridisation in the adult ctenophore. The expression territories of PpiTlx are predominantly ectodermal, in two distinct types of ciliated epidermal cells and in one category of gland cells. We also identified a probable endodermal site of expression. Because we failed to detect any mesodermal expression, the results do not provide support to the hypothesis of an ancient functional association between the NKL group and the mesoderm.

  9. ROCK inhibition abolishes the establishment of the aquiferous system in Ephydatia muelleri (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenkelaars, Quentin; Quintero, Omar; Hall, Chelsea; Fierro-Constain, Laura; Renard, Emmanuelle; Borchiellini, Carole; Hill, April L

    2016-04-15

    The Rho associated coiled-coil protein kinase (ROCK) plays crucial roles in development across bilaterian animals. The fact that the Rho/Rock pathway is required to initiate epithelial morphogenesis and thus to establish body plans in bilaterians makes this conserved signaling pathway key for studying the molecular mechanisms that may control early development of basally branching metazoans. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether or not the main components of this signaling pathway exist in sponges, and if present, to investigate the possible role of the regulatory network in an early branching non-bilaterian species by evaluating ROCK function during Ephydatia muelleri development. Molecular phylogenetic analyses and protein domain predictions revealed the existence of Rho/Rock components in all studied poriferan lineages. Binding assays revealed that both Y-27632 and GSK429286A are capable of inhibiting Em-ROCK activity in vitro. Treatment with both drugs leads to impairment of growth and formation of the basal pinacoderm layer in the developing sponge. Furthermore, inhibition of Em-Rock prevents the establishment of a functional aquiferous system, including the absence of an osculum. In contrast, no effect of ROCK inhibition was observed in juvenile sponges that already possess a fully developed and functional aquiferous system. Thus, the Rho/Rock pathway appears to be essential for the proper development of the freshwater sponge, and may play a role in various cell behaviors (e.g. cell proliferation, cell adhesion and cell motility). Taken together, these data are consistent with an ancestral function of Rho/Rock signaling in playing roles in early developmental processes and may provide a new framework to study the interaction between Wnt signaling and the Rho/Rock pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Effects of TiO2 nanoparticles and sunscreens on coastal marine microalgae: Ultraviolet radiation is key variable for toxicity assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sendra, M; Sánchez-Quiles, D; Blasco, J; Moreno-Garrido, I; Lubián, L M; Pérez-García, S; Tovar-Sánchez, A

    2017-01-01

    Given the large numbers of sunbathers on beaches, sunscreen compounds are being released into the coastal aquatic environment in significant amounts. Until now the effect of these potential pollutants on microbiota has been not well-known. Phytoplankton is a key component of the microbiota community. It forms the basis of the aquatic trophic networks, and any change in the natural population of phytoplankton can affect the structure of aquatic biota. This paper describes an experiment performed outdoors (in natural sunlight conditions including ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and with UVR blocked) on mixed microalgae populations (four species from different key marine taxonomic groups, Nannochloropsis gaditana, Chaetoceros gracilis, Pleurochrysis roscoffensis and Amphidinium carterae), for three days, exposed to a range of concentrations of three commercial sunscreens (with variable TiO 2 concentrations: highest concentration for sunscreen C, followed by sunscreen A; and sunscreen B did not contain TiO 2 in its composition). With regard to UVR effect, in the absence of sunscreens, the most sensitive species is the centric diatom, Chaetoceros gracilis, and the least is Nannochloropsis gaditana; this last species presented the same behavior in the absence of UVR and with high sunscreen concentrations. The toxicity gradient obtained for sunscreens and nanoparticles under UVR is: TiO 2 NPs>Sunscreen C>Sunscreen A>Sunscreen B. The differential sensitivity of microalgae to sunscreens and TiO 2 NPs can produce a change in the dynamics of phytoplankton populations and provoke undesirable ecological effects (such as giving dinoflagellates more prominence). The effects of UVR, commonly neglected in bioassays, could alter the results in important ways and should be considered when performing environmentally-relevant bioassays. The toxicity mediated by hydrogen peroxide production associated with the concentration of TiO 2 NPs cannot be considered the only factor responsible for

  11. Archigregarines of the English Channel revisited: New molecular data on Selenidium species including early described and new species and the uncertainties of phylogenetic relationships.

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    Sonja Rueckert

    Full Text Available Gregarines represent an important transition step from free-living predatory (colpodellids s.l. and/or photosynthetic (Chromera and Vitrella apicomplexan lineages to the most important pathogens, obligate intracellular parasites of humans and domestic animals such as coccidians and haemosporidians (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Eimeria, Babesia, etc.. While dozens of genomes of other apicomplexan groups are available, gregarines are barely entering the molecular age. Among the gregarines, archigregarines possess a unique mixture of ancestral (myzocytosis and derived (lack of apicoplast, presence of subpellicular microtubules features.In this study we revisited five of the early-described species of the genus Selenidium including the type species Selenidium pendula, with special focus on surface ultrastructure and molecular data. We were also able to describe three new species within this genus. All species were characterized at morphological (light and scanning electron microscopy data and molecular (SSU rDNA sequence data levels. Gregarine specimens were isolated from polychaete hosts collected from the English Channel near the Station Biologique de Roscoff, France: Selenidium pendula from Scolelepis squamata, S. hollandei and S. sabellariae from Sabellaria alveolata, S. sabellae from Sabella pavonina, Selenidium fallax from Cirriformia tentaculata, S. spiralis sp. n. and S. antevariabilis sp. n. from Amphitritides gracilis, and S. opheliae sp. n. from Ophelia roscoffensis. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of these data showed archigregarines clustering into five separate clades and support previous doubts about their monophyly.Our phylogenies using the extended gregarine sampling show that the archigregarines are indeed not monophyletic with one strongly supported clade of Selenidium sequences around the type species S. pendula. We suggest the revision of the whole archigregarine taxonomy with only the species within this clade remaining in the genus

  12. Cortical cytasters: a highly conserved developmental trait of Bilateria with similarities to Ctenophora

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    Salinas-Saavedra Miguel

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytasters (cytoplasmic asters are centriole-based nucleation centers of microtubule polymerization that are observable in large numbers in the cortical cytoplasm of the egg and zygote of bilaterian organisms. In both protostome and deuterostome taxa, cytasters have been described to develop during oogenesis from vesicles of nuclear membrane that move to the cortical cytoplasm. They become associated with several cytoplasmic components, and participate in the reorganization of cortical cytoplasm after fertilization, patterning the antero-posterior and dorso-ventral body axes. Presentation of the hypothesis The specific resemblances in the development of cytasters in both protostome and deuterostome taxa suggest that an independent evolutionary origin is unlikely. An assessment of published data confirms that cytasters are present in several protostome and deuterostome phyla, but are absent in the non-bilaterian phyla Cnidaria and Ctenophora. We hypothesize that cytasters evolved in the lineage leading to Bilateria and were already present in the most recent common ancestor shared by protostomes and deuterostomes. Thus, cytasters would be an ancient and highly conserved trait that is homologous across the different bilaterian phyla. The alternative possibility is homoplasy, that is cytasters have evolved independently in different lineages of Bilateria. Testing the hypothesis So far, available published information shows that appropriate observations have been made in eight different bilaterian phyla. All of them present cytasters. This is consistent with the hypothesis of homology and conservation. However, there are several important groups for which there are no currently available data. The hypothesis of homology predicts that cytasters should be present in these groups. Increasing the taxonomic sample using modern techniques uniformly will test for evolutionary patterns supporting homology, homoplasy, or secondary loss of

  13. FoxO and stress responses in the cnidarian Hydra vulgaris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Bridge

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In the face of changing environmental conditions, the mechanisms underlying stress responses in diverse organisms are of increasing interest. In vertebrates, Drosophila, and Caenorhabditis elegans, FoxO transcription factors mediate cellular responses to stress, including oxidative stress and dietary restriction. Although FoxO genes have been identified in early-arising animal lineages including sponges and cnidarians, little is known about their roles in these organisms.We have examined the regulation of FoxO activity in members of the well-studied cnidarian genus Hydra. We find that Hydra FoxO is expressed at high levels in cells of the interstitial lineage, a cell lineage that includes multipotent stem cells that give rise to neurons, stinging cells, secretory cells and gametes. Using transgenic Hydra that express a FoxO-GFP fusion protein in cells of the interstitial lineage, we have determined that heat shock causes localization of the fusion protein to the nucleus. Our results also provide evidence that, as in bilaterian animals, Hydra FoxO activity is regulated by both Akt and JNK kinases.These findings imply that basic mechanisms of FoxO regulation arose before the evolution of bilaterians and raise the possibility that FoxO is involved in stress responses of other cnidarian species, including corals.

  14. Complementary striped expression patterns of NK homeobox genes during segment formation in the annelid Platynereis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saudemont, Alexandra; Dray, Nicolas; Hudry, Bruno; Le Gouar, Martine; Vervoort, Michel; Balavoine, Guillaume

    2008-05-15

    NK genes are related pan-metazoan homeobox genes. In the fruitfly, NK genes are clustered and involved in patterning various mesodermal derivatives during embryogenesis. It was therefore suggested that the NK cluster emerged in evolution as an ancestral mesodermal patterning cluster. To test this hypothesis, we cloned and analysed the expression patterns of the homologues of NK cluster genes Msx, NK4, NK3, Lbx, Tlx, NK1 and NK5 in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, a representative of trochozoans, the third great branch of bilaterian animals alongside deuterostomes and ecdysozoans. We found that most of these genes are involved, as they are in the fly, in the specification of distinct mesodermal derivatives, notably subsets of muscle precursors. The expression of the homologue of NK4/tinman in the pulsatile dorsal vessel of Platynereis strongly supports the hypothesis that the vertebrate heart derived from a dorsal vessel relocated to a ventral position by D/V axis inversion in a chordate ancestor. Additionally and more surprisingly, NK4, Lbx, Msx, Tlx and NK1 orthologues are expressed in complementary sets of stripes in the ectoderm and/or mesoderm of forming segments, suggesting an involvement in the segment formation process. A potentially ancient role of the NK cluster genes in segment formation, unsuspected from vertebrate and fruitfly studies so far, now deserves to be investigated in other bilaterian species, especially non-insect arthropods and onychophorans.

  15. Role and convergent evolution of competing RNA secondary structures in mutually exclusive splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Yuan; Hou, Shouqing; Wang, Xiu; Zhan, Leilei; Cao, Guozheng; Li, Guoli; Shi, Yang; Zhang, Peng; Hong, Weiling; Lin, Hao; Liu, Baoping; Shi, Feng; Yang, Yun; Jin, Yongfeng

    2017-10-03

    Exon or cassette duplication is an important means of expanding protein and functional diversity through mutually exclusive splicing. However, the mechanistic basis of this process in non-arthropod species remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that MRP1 genes underwent tandem exon duplication in Nematoda, Platyhelminthes, Annelida, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and early-diverging Chordata but not in late-diverging vertebrates. Interestingly, these events were of independent origin in different phyla, suggesting convergent evolution of alternative splicing. Furthermore, we showed that multiple sets of clade-conserved RNA pairings evolved to guide species-specific mutually exclusive splicing in Arthropoda. Importantly, we also identified a similar structural code in MRP exon clusters of the annelid, Capitella teleta, and chordate, Branchiostoma belcheri, suggesting an evolutionarily conserved competing pairing-guided mechanism in bilaterians. Taken together, these data reveal the molecular determinants and RNA pairing-guided evolution of species-specific mutually exclusive splicing spanning more than 600 million years of bilaterian evolution. These findings have a significant impact on our understanding of the evolution of and mechanism underpinning isoform diversity and complex gene structure.

  16. Molecular insights into the origin of the Hox-TALE patterning system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudry, Bruno; Thomas-Chollier, Morgane; Volovik, Yael; Duffraisse, Marilyne; Dard, Amélie; Frank, Dale; Technau, Ulrich; Merabet, Samir

    2014-03-18

    Despite tremendous body form diversity in nature, bilaterian animals share common sets of developmental genes that display conserved expression patterns in the embryo. Among them are the Hox genes, which define different identities along the anterior-posterior axis. Hox proteins exert their function by interaction with TALE transcription factors. Hox and TALE members are also present in some but not all non-bilaterian phyla, raising the question of how Hox-TALE interactions evolved to provide positional information. By using proteins from unicellular and multicellular lineages, we showed that these networks emerged from an ancestral generic motif present in Hox and other related protein families. Interestingly, Hox-TALE networks experienced additional and extensive molecular innovations that were likely crucial for differentiating Hox functions along body plans. Together our results highlight how homeobox gene families evolved during eukaryote evolution to eventually constitute a major patterning system in Eumetazoans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01939.001.

  17. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma

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    Nickel Michael

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation during sponge budding. Results We investigated the budding process in Tethya wilhelma (Demospongiae by applying 3D morphometrics to high resolution synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography (SR-μCT image data. We followed the morphogenesis of characteristic body structures and identified distinct morphological states which indeed reveal characteristic spatiotemporal morphological patterns in sponge bud development. We discovered the distribution of skeletal elements, canal system and sponge tissue to be based on a sequential series of distinct morphological states. Based on morphometric data we defined four typical bud stages. Once they have reached the final stage buds are released as fully functional juvenile sponges which are morphologically and functionally equivalent to adult specimens. Conclusion Our results demonstrate that budding in demosponges is considerably more highly organized and regulated than previously assumed. Morphological pattern formation in asexual reproduction with underlying genetic regulation seems to have evolved early in metazoans and was likely part of the developmental program of the last common ancestor of all Metazoa (LCAM.

  18. Sponge budding is a spatiotemporal morphological patterning process: Insights from synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography into the asexual reproduction of Tethya wilhelma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammel, Jörg U; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Nickel, Michael

    2009-09-08

    Primary agametic-asexual reproduction mechanisms such as budding and fission are present in all non-bilaterian and many bilaterian animal taxa and are likely to be metazoan ground pattern characters. Cnidarians display highly organized and regulated budding processes. In contrast, budding in poriferans was thought to be less specific and related to the general ability of this group to reorganize their tissues. Here we test the hypothesis of morphological pattern formation during sponge budding. We investigated the budding process in Tethya wilhelma (Demospongiae) by applying 3D morphometrics to high resolution synchrotron radiation-based x-ray microtomography (SR-muCT) image data. We followed the morphogenesis of characteristic body structures and identified distinct morphological states which indeed reveal characteristic spatiotemporal morphological patterns in sponge bud development. We discovered the distribution of skeletal elements, canal system and sponge tissue to be based on a sequential series of distinct morphological states. Based on morphometric data we defined four typical bud stages. Once they have reached the final stage buds are released as fully functional juvenile sponges which are morphologically and functionally equivalent to adult specimens. Our results demonstrate that budding in demosponges is considerably more highly organized and regulated than previously assumed. Morphological pattern formation in asexual reproduction with underlying genetic regulation seems to have evolved early in metazoans and was likely part of the developmental program of the last common ancestor of all Metazoa (LCAM).

  19. Human developmental enhancers conserved between deuterostomes and protostomes.

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    Shoa L Clarke

    Full Text Available The identification of homologies, whether morphological, molecular, or genetic, is fundamental to our understanding of common biological principles. Homologies bridging the great divide between deuterostomes and protostomes have served as the basis for current models of animal evolution and development. It is now appreciated that these two clades share a common developmental toolkit consisting of conserved transcription factors and signaling pathways. These patterning genes sometimes show common expression patterns and genetic interactions, suggesting the existence of similar or even conserved regulatory apparatus. However, previous studies have found no regulatory sequence conserved between deuterostomes and protostomes. Here we describe the first such enhancers, which we call bilaterian conserved regulatory elements (Bicores. Bicores show conservation of sequence and gene synteny. Sequence conservation of Bicores reflects conserved patterns of transcription factor binding sites. We predict that Bicores act as response elements to signaling pathways, and we show that Bicores are developmental enhancers that drive expression of transcriptional repressors in the vertebrate central nervous system. Although the small number of identified Bicores suggests extensive rewiring of cis-regulation between the protostome and deuterostome clades, additional Bicores may be revealed as our understanding of cis-regulatory logic and sample of bilaterian genomes continue to grow.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the onychophoran Epiperipatus biolleyi reveals a unique transfer RNA set and provides further support for the ecdysozoa hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podsiadlowski, Lars; Braband, Anke; Mayer, Georg

    2008-01-01

    Onychophora (velvet worms) play a crucial role in current discussions on position of arthropods. The ongoing Articulata/Ecdysozoa debate is in need of additional ground pattern characters for Panarthropoda (Arthropoda, Tardigrada, and Onychophora). Hence, Onychophora is an important outgroup taxon in resolving the relationships among arthropods, irrespective of whether morphological or molecular data are used. To date, there has been a noticeable lack of mitochondrial genome data from onychophorans. Here, we present the first complete mitochondrial genome sequence of an onychophoran, Epiperipatus biolleyi (Peripatidae), which shows several characteristic features. Specifically, the gene order is considerably different from that in other arthropods and other bilaterians. In addition, there is a lack of 9 tRNA genes usually present in bilaterian mitochondrial genomes. All these missing tRNAs have anticodon sequences corresponding to 4-fold degenerate codons, whereas the persisting 13 tRNAs all have anticodons pairing with 2-fold degenerate codons. Sequence-based phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial protein-coding genes provides a robust support for a clade consisting of Onychophora, Priapulida, and Arthropoda, which confirms the Ecdysozoa hypothesis. However, resolution of the internal ecdysozoan relationships suffers from a cluster of long-branching taxa (including Nematoda and Platyhelminthes) and a lack of data from Tardigrada and further nemathelminth taxa in addition to nematodes and priapulids.

  1. Parallel Expansions of Sox Transcription Factor Group B Predating the Diversifications of the Arthropods and Jawed Vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Lei; Wang, Dengqiang; Gan, Xiaoni; Yang, Tong; He, Shunping

    2011-01-01

    Group B of the Sox transcription factor family is crucial in embryo development in the insects and vertebrates. Sox group B, unlike the other Sox groups, has an unusually enlarged functional repertoire in insects, but the timing and mechanism of the expansion of this group were unclear. We collected and analyzed data for Sox group B from 36 species of 12 phyla representing the major metazoan clades, with an emphasis on arthropods, to reconstruct the evolutionary history of SoxB in bilaterians and to date the expansion of Sox group B in insects. We found that the genome of the bilaterian last common ancestor probably contained one SoxB1 and one SoxB2 gene only and that tandem duplications of SoxB2 occurred before the arthropod diversification but after the arthropod-nematode divergence, resulting in the basal repertoire of Sox group B in diverse arthropod lineages. The arthropod Sox group B repertoire expanded differently from the vertebrate repertoire, which resulted from genome duplications. The parallel increases in the Sox group B repertoires of the arthropods and vertebrates are consistent with the parallel increases in the complexity and diversification of these two important organismal groups. PMID:21305035

  2. Nuclear receptors from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi lack a zinc-finger DNA-binding domain: lineage-specific loss or ancestral condition in the emergence of the nuclear receptor superfamily?

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    Reitzel Adam M

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nuclear receptors (NRs are an ancient superfamily of metazoan transcription factors that play critical roles in regulation of reproduction, development, and energetic homeostasis. Although the evolutionary relationships among NRs are well-described in two prominent clades of animals (deuterostomes and protostomes, comparatively little information has been reported on the diversity of NRs in early diverging metazoans. Here, we identified NRs from the phylum Ctenophora and used a phylogenomic approach to explore the emergence of the NR superfamily in the animal kingdom. In addition, to gain insight into conserved or novel functions, we examined NR expression during ctenophore development. Results We report the first described NRs from the phylum Ctenophora: two from Mnemiopsis leidyi and one from Pleurobrachia pileus. All ctenophore NRs contained a ligand-binding domain and grouped with NRs from the subfamily NR2A (HNF4. Surprisingly, all the ctenophore NRs lacked the highly conserved DNA-binding domain (DBD. NRs from Mnemiopsis were expressed in different regions of developing ctenophores. One was broadly expressed in the endoderm during gastrulation. The second was initially expressed in the ectoderm during gastrulation, in regions corresponding to the future tentacles; subsequent expression was restricted to the apical organ. Phylogenetic analyses of NRs from ctenophores, sponges, cnidarians, and a placozoan support the hypothesis that expansion of the superfamily occurred in a step-wise fashion, with initial radiations in NR family 2, followed by representatives of NR families 3, 6, and 1/4 originating prior to the appearance of the bilaterian ancestor. Conclusions Our study provides the first description of NRs from ctenophores, including the full complement from Mnemiopsis. Ctenophores have the least diverse NR complement of any animal phylum with representatives that cluster with only one subfamily (NR2A. Ctenophores and

  3. Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals

    KAUST Repository

    Bhattacharya, Debashish

    2016-05-24

    Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that coordinate responses of the host animals to temperature, light, and pH. Furthermore, we describe a variety of stress-related pathways, including apoptotic pathways that allow the host animals to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are generated by their intracellular photosynthetic symbionts, and determine the fate of corals under environmental stress. Some of these genes arose through horizontal gene transfer and comprise at least 0.2% of the animal gene inventory. Our analysis elucidates the evolutionary strategies that have allowed symbiotic corals to adapt and thrive for hundreds of millions of years.

  4. Mechanisms for eco-immunity in a changing enviroment: how does the coral innate immune system contend with climate change?

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    Traylor-Knowles, N. G.

    2016-02-01

    Innate immunity plays a central role in maintaining homeostasis, and within the context of impending climate change scenarios, understanding how this system works is critical. However, the actual mechanisms involved in the evolution of the innate immune system are largely unknown. Cnidaria (including corals, sea anemones and jellyfish) are well suited for studying the fundamental functions of innate immunity because they share a common ancestor with bilaterians. This study will highlight the transcriptomic changes during a heat shock in the coral Acropora hyacinthus of American Samoa, examining the temporal changes, every half an hour for 5 hours. We hypothesize that genes involved in innate immunity, and extracellular matrix maintenance will be key components to the heat stress response. This presentation will highlight the novel role of the tumor necrosis factor receptor gene family as a responder to heat stress and present future directions for this developing field in coral reef research.

  5. Comparative genomics explains the evolutionary success of reef-forming corals

    KAUST Repository

    Bhattacharya, Debashish; Agrawal, Shobhit; Aranda, Manuel; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Belcaid, Mahdi; Drake, Jeana L; Erwin, Douglas; Foret, Sylvian; Gates, Ruth D; Gruber, David F; Kamel, Bishoy; Lesser, Michael P; Levy, Oren; Liew, Yi Jin; MacManes, Matthew; Mass, Tali; Medina, Monica; Mehr, Shaadi; Meyer, Eli; Price, Dana C; Putnam, Hollie M; Qiu, Huan; Shinzato, Chuya; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Stokes, Alexander J; Tambutté , Sylvie; Tchernov, Dan; Voolstra, Christian R.; Wagner, Nicole; Walker, Charles W; Weber, Andreas PM; Weis, Virginia; Zelzion, Ehud; Zoccola, Didier; Falkowski, Paul G

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptome and genome data from twenty stony coral species and a selection of reference bilaterians were studied to elucidate coral evolutionary history. We identified genes that encode the proteins responsible for the precipitation and aggregation of the aragonite skeleton on which the organisms live, and revealed a network of environmental sensors that coordinate responses of the host animals to temperature, light, and pH. Furthermore, we describe a variety of stress-related pathways, including apoptotic pathways that allow the host animals to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that are generated by their intracellular photosynthetic symbionts, and determine the fate of corals under environmental stress. Some of these genes arose through horizontal gene transfer and comprise at least 0.2% of the animal gene inventory. Our analysis elucidates the evolutionary strategies that have allowed symbiotic corals to adapt and thrive for hundreds of millions of years.

  6. The planarian flatworm: an in vivo model for stem cell biology and nervous system regeneration

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    Luca Gentile

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Planarian flatworms are an exception among bilaterians in that they possess a large pool of adult stem cells that enables them to promptly regenerate any part of their body, including the brain. Although known for two centuries for their remarkable regenerative capabilities, planarians have only recently emerged as an attractive model for studying regeneration and stem cell biology. This revival is due in part to the availability of a sequenced genome and the development of new technologies, such as RNA interference and next-generation sequencing, which facilitate studies of planarian regeneration at the molecular level. Here, we highlight why planarians are an exciting tool in the study of regeneration and its underlying stem cell biology in vivo, and discuss the potential promises and current limitations of this model organism for stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

  7. The Trichoplax Genome and the Nature of Placozoans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, Mansi; Begovic, Emina; Chapman, Jarrod; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Hellsten, Uffe; Kawashima, Takeshi; Kuo, Alan; Mitros, Therese; Salamov, Asaf; Carpenter, Meredith L.; Signorovitch, Ana Y.; Moreno, Maria A.; Kamm, Kai; Grimwood, Jane; Schmutz, Jeremy; Shapiro, Harris; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Buss, Leo W.; Schierwater, Bernd; Dellaporta, Stephen L.; Rokhsar, Daniel S.

    2008-08-01

    Placozoans are arguably the simplest free-living animals, possibly evoking an early stage in metazoan evolution, yet their biology is poorly understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the {approx}98 million base pair nuclear genome of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. Whole genome phylogenetic analysis suggests that placozoans belong to a 'eumetazoan' clade that includes cnidarians and bilaterians, with sponges as the earliest diverging animals. The compact genome exhibits conserved gene content, gene structure, and synteny relative to the human and other complex eumetazoan genomes. Despite the apparent cellular and organismal simplicity of Trichoplax, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factor and signaling pathway genes that are typically associated with diverse cell types and developmental processes in eumetazoans, motivating further searches for cryptic cellular complexity and/or as yet unobserved life history stages.

  8. The anatomy, affinity, and phylogenetic significance of Markuelia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xi-Ping; Donoghue, Philip C J; Cunningham, John A; Liu, Jian-Bo; Cheng, Hong

    2005-01-01

    The fossil record provides a paucity of data on the development of extinct organisms, particularly for their embryology. The recovery of fossilized embryos heralds new insight into the evolution of development but advances are limited by an almost complete absence of phylogenetic constraint. Markuelia is an exception to this, known from cleavage and pre-hatchling stages as a vermiform and profusely annulated direct-developing bilaterian with terminal circumoral and posterior radial arrays of spines. Phylogenetic analyses have hitherto suggested assignment to stem-Scalidophora (phyla Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Priapulida). We test this assumption with additional data and through the inclusion of additional taxa. The available evidence supports stem-Scalidophora affinity, leading to the conclusion that scalidophorans, cyclonerualians, and ecdysozoans are primitive direct developers, and the likelihood that scalidophorans are primitively metameric.

  9. Development of the annelid axochord: insights into notochord evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauri, Antonella; Brunet, Thibaut; Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Fischer, Antje H L; Simakov, Oleg; Steinmetz, Patrick R H; Tomer, Raju; Keller, Philipp J; Arendt, Detlev

    2014-09-12

    The origin of chordates has been debated for more than a century, with one key issue being the emergence of the notochord. In vertebrates, the notochord develops by convergence and extension of the chordamesoderm, a population of midline cells of unique molecular identity. We identify a population of mesodermal cells in a developing invertebrate, the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, that converges and extends toward the midline and expresses a notochord-specific combination of genes. These cells differentiate into a longitudinal muscle, the axochord, that is positioned between central nervous system and axial blood vessel and secretes a strong collagenous extracellular matrix. Ancestral state reconstruction suggests that contractile mesodermal midline cells existed in bilaterian ancestors. We propose that these cells, via vacuolization and stiffening, gave rise to the chordate notochord. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  10. Oxytocin and vasopressin neural networks: Implications for social behavioral diversity and translational neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Zachary V; Young, Larry J

    2017-05-01

    Oxytocin- and vasopressin-related systems are present in invertebrate and vertebrate bilaterian animals, including humans, and exhibit conserved neuroanatomical and functional properties. In vertebrates, these systems innervate conserved neural networks that regulate social learning and behavior, including conspecific recognition, social attachment, and parental behavior. Individual and species-level variation in central organization of oxytocin and vasopressin systems has been linked to individual and species variation in social learning and behavior. In humans, genetic polymorphisms in the genes encoding oxytocin and vasopressin peptides and/or their respective target receptors have been associated with individual variation in social recognition, social attachment phenotypes, parental behavior, and psychiatric phenotypes such as autism. Here we describe both conserved and variable features of central oxytocin and vasopressin systems in the context of social behavioral diversity, with a particular focus on neural networks that modulate social learning, behavior, and salience of sociosensory stimuli during species-typical social contexts. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Novel scenarios of early animal evolution--is it time to rewrite textbooks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dohrmann, Martin; Wörheide, Gert

    2013-09-01

    Understanding how important phenotypic, developmental, and genomic features of animals originated and evolved is essential for many fields of biological research, but such understanding depends on robust hypotheses about the phylogenetic interrelationships of the higher taxa to which the studied species belong. Molecular approaches to phylogenetics have proven able to revolutionize our knowledge of organismal evolution. However, with respect to the deepest splits in the metazoan Tree of Life-the relationships between Bilateria and the four non-bilaterian phyla (Porifera, Placozoa, Ctenophora, and Cnidaria)-no consensus has been reached yet, since a number of different, often contradictory, hypotheses with sometimes spectacular implications have been proposed in recent years. Here, we review the recent literature on the topic and contrast it with more classical perceptions based on analyses of morphological characters. We conclude that the time is not yet ripe to rewrite zoological textbooks and advocate a conservative approach when it comes to developing scenarios of the early evolution of animals.

  12. Eric Davidson and deep time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, Douglas H

    2017-10-13

    Eric Davidson had a deep and abiding interest in the role developmental mechanisms played in generating evolutionary patterns documented in deep time, from the origin of the euechinoids to the processes responsible for the morphological architectures of major animal clades. Although not an evolutionary biologist, Davidson's interests long preceded the current excitement over comparative evolutionary developmental biology. Here I discuss three aspects at the intersection between his research and evolutionary patterns in deep time: First, understanding the mechanisms of body plan formation, particularly those associated with the early diversification of major metazoan clades. Second, a critique of early claims about ancestral metazoans based on the discoveries of highly conserved genes across bilaterian animals. Third, Davidson's own involvement in paleontology through a collaborative study of the fossil embryos from the Ediacaran Doushantuo Formation in south China.

  13. Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous contractile behavior in Hydra polyps

    KAUST Repository

    Takaku, Yasuharu

    2014-01-07

    Nerve cells and spontaneous coordinated behavior first appeared near the base of animal evolution in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Experiments on the cnidarian Hydra have demonstrated that nerve cells are essential for this behavior, although nerve cells in Hydra are organized in a diffuse network and do not form ganglia. Here we show that the gap junction protein innexin-2 is expressed in a small group of nerve cells in the lower body column of Hydra and that an anti-innexin-2 antibody binds to gap junctions in the same region. Treatment of live animals with innexin-2 antibody eliminates gap junction staining and reduces spontaneous body column contractions. We conclude that a small subset of nerve cells, connected by gap junctions and capable of synchronous firing, act as a pacemaker to coordinate the contraction of the body column in the absence of ganglia.

  14. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

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    Martín-Durán José

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features

  15. An Adaptable Spectrin/Ankyrin-Based Mechanism for Long-Range Organization of Plasma Membranes in Vertebrate Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Vann; Lorenzo, Damaris N

    2016-01-01

    Ankyrins are membrane-associated proteins that together with their spectrin partners are responsible for micron-scale organization of vertebrate plasma membranes, including those of erythrocytes, excitable membranes of neurons and heart, lateral membrane domains of columnar epithelial cells, and striated muscle. Ankyrins coordinate functionally related membrane transporters and cell adhesion proteins (15 protein families identified so far) within plasma membrane compartments through independently evolved interactions of intrinsically disordered sequences with a highly conserved peptide-binding groove formed by the ANK repeat solenoid. Ankyrins are coupled to spectrins, which are elongated organelle-sized proteins that form mechanically resilient arrays through cross-linking by specialized actin filaments. In addition to protein interactions, cellular targeting and assembly of spectrin/ankyrin domains also critically depend on palmitoylation of ankyrin-G by aspartate-histidine-histidine-cysteine 5/8 palmitoyltransferases, as well as interaction of beta-2 spectrin with phosphoinositide lipids. These lipid-dependent spectrin/ankyrin domains are not static but are locally dynamic and determine membrane identity through opposing endocytosis of bulk lipids as well as specific proteins. A partnership between spectrin, ankyrin, and cell adhesion molecules first emerged in bilaterians over 500 million years ago. Ankyrin and spectrin may have been recruited to plasma membranes from more ancient roles in organelle transport. The basic bilaterian spectrin-ankyrin toolkit markedly expanded in vertebrates through gene duplications combined with variation in unstructured intramolecular regulatory sequences as well as independent evolution of ankyrin-binding activity by ion transporters involved in action potentials and calcium homeostasis. In addition, giant vertebrate ankyrins with specialized roles in axons acquired new coding sequences by exon shuffling. We speculate that

  16. Ancient Origin of the CARD–Coiled Coil/Bcl10/MALT1-Like Paracaspase Signaling Complex Indicates Unknown Critical Functions

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    Jens Staal

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The CARD–coiled coil (CC/Bcl10/MALT1-like paracaspase (CBM signaling complexes composed of a CARD–CC family member (CARD-9, -10, -11, or -14, Bcl10, and the type 1 paracaspase MALT1 (PCASP1 play a pivotal role in immunity, inflammation, and cancer. Targeting MALT1 proteolytic activity is of potential therapeutic interest. However, little is known about the evolutionary origin and the original functions of the CBM complex. Type 1 paracaspases originated before the last common ancestor of planulozoa (bilaterians and cnidarians. Notably in bilaterians, Ecdysozoa (e.g., nematodes and insects lacks Bcl10, whereas other lineages have a Bcl10 homolog. A survey of invertebrate CARD–CC homologs revealed such homologs only in species with Bcl10, indicating an ancient common origin of the entire CBM complex. Furthermore, vertebrate-like Syk/Zap70 tyrosine kinase homologs with the ITAM-binding SH2 domain were only found in invertebrate organisms with CARD–CC/Bcl10, indicating that this pathway might be related to the original function of the CBM complex. Moreover, the type 1 paracaspase sequences from invertebrate organisms that have CARD–CC/Bcl10 are more similar to vertebrate paracaspases. Functional analysis of protein–protein interactions, NF-κB signaling, and CYLD cleavage for selected invertebrate type 1 paracaspase and Bcl10 homologs supports this scenario and indicates an ancient origin of the CARD–CC/Bcl10/paracaspase signaling complex. By contrast, many of the known MALT1-associated activities evolved fairly recently, indicating that unknown functions are at the basis of the protein conservation. As a proof-of-concept, we provide initial evidence for a CBM- and NF-κB-independent neuronal function of the Caenorhabditis elegans type 1 paracaspase malt-1. In conclusion, this study shows how evolutionary insights may point at alternative functions of MALT1.

  17. Expanded functional diversity of shaker K(+ channels in cnidarians is driven by gene expansion.

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    Timothy Jegla

    Full Text Available The genome of the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (starlet sea anemone provides a molecular genetic view into the first nervous systems, which appeared in a late common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians. Nematostella has a surprisingly large and diverse set of neuronal signaling genes including paralogs of most neuronal signaling molecules found in higher metazoans. Several ion channel gene families are highly expanded in the sea anemone, including three subfamilies of the Shaker K(+ channel gene family: Shaker (Kv1, Shaw (Kv3 and Shal (Kv4. In order to better understand the physiological significance of these voltage-gated K(+ channel expansions, we analyzed the function of 18 members of the 20 gene Shaker subfamily in Nematostella. Six of the Nematostella Shaker genes express functional homotetrameric K(+ channels in vitro. These include functional orthologs of bilaterian Shakers and channels with an unusually high threshold for voltage activation. We identified 11 Nematostella Shaker genes with a distinct "silent" or "regulatory" phenotype; these encode subunits that function only in heteromeric channels and serve to further diversify Nematostella Shaker channel gating properties. Subunits with the regulatory phenotype have not previously been found in the Shaker subfamily, but have evolved independently in the Shab (Kv2 family in vertebrates and the Shal family in a cnidarian. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that regulatory subunits were present in ancestral cnidarians, but have continued to diversity at a high rate after the split between anthozoans and hydrozoans. Comparison of Shaker family gene complements from diverse metazoan species reveals frequent, large scale duplication has produced highly unique sets of Shaker channels in the major metazoan lineages.

  18. The normal development of Platynereis dumerilii (Nereididae, Annelida

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    Henrich Thorsten

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The polychaete annelid Platynereis dumerilii is an emerging model organism for the study of molecular developmental processes, evolution, neurobiology and marine biology. Annelids belong to the Lophotrochozoa, the so far understudied third major branch of bilaterian animals besides deuterostomes and ecdysozoans. P. dumerilii has proven highly relevant to explore ancient bilaterian conditions via comparison to the deuterostomes, because it has accumulated less evolutionary change than conventional ecdysozoan models. Previous staging was mainly referring to hours post fertilization but did not allow matching stages between studies performed at (even slightly different temperatures. To overcome this, and to provide a first comprehensive description of P. dumerilii normal development, a temperature-independent staging system is needed. Results Platynereis dumerilii normal development is subdivided into 16 stages, starting with the zygote and ending with the death of the mature worms after delivering their gametes. The stages described can be easily identified by conventional light microscopy or even by dissecting scope. Developmental landmarks such as the beginning of phototaxis, the visibility of the stomodeal opening and of the chaetae, the first occurrence of the ciliary bands, the formation of the parapodia, the extension of antennae and cirri, the onset of feeding and other characteristics are used to define different developmental stages. The morphology of all larval stages as well as of juveniles and adults is documented by light microscopy. We also provide an overview of important steps in the development of the nervous system and of the musculature, using fluorescent labeling techniques and confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Timing of each developmental stage refers to hours post fertilization at 18 ± 0.1°C. For comparison, we determined the pace of development of larvae raised at 14°C, 16°C, 20°C, 25°C, 28°C and

  19. Lim homeobox genes in the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi: the evolution of neural cell type specification

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    Simmons David K

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nervous systems are thought to be important to the evolutionary success and diversification of metazoans, yet little is known about the origin of simple nervous systems at the base of the animal tree. Recent data suggest that ctenophores, a group of macroscopic pelagic marine invertebrates, are the most ancient group of animals that possess a definitive nervous system consisting of a distributed nerve net and an apical statocyst. This study reports on details of the evolution of the neural cell type specifying transcription factor family of LIM homeobox containing genes (Lhx, which have highly conserved functions in neural specification in bilaterian animals. Results Using next generation sequencing, the first draft of the genome of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi has been generated. The Lhx genes in all animals are represented by seven subfamilies (Lhx1/5, Lhx3/4, Lmx, Islet, Lhx2/9, Lhx6/8, and LMO of which four were found to be represented in the ctenophore lineage (Lhx1/5, Lhx3/4, Lmx, and Islet. Interestingly, the ctenophore Lhx gene complement is more similar to the sponge complement (sponges do not possess neurons than to either the cnidarian-bilaterian or placozoan Lhx complements. Using whole mount in situ hybridization, the Lhx gene expression patterns were examined and found to be expressed around the blastopore and in cells that give rise to the apical organ and putative neural sensory cells. Conclusion This research gives us a first look at neural cell type specification in the ctenophore M. leidyi. Within M. leidyi, Lhx genes are expressed in overlapping domains within proposed neural cellular and sensory cell territories. These data suggest that Lhx genes likely played a conserved role in the patterning of sensory cells in the ancestor of sponges and ctenophores, and may provide a link to the expression of Lhx orthologs in sponge larval photoreceptive cells. Lhx genes were later co-opted into patterning more

  20. Anteroposterior axis patterning by early canonical Wnt signaling during hemichordate development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darras, Sébastien; Fritzenwanker, Jens H.; Uhlinger, Kevin R.; Farrelly, Ellyn; Pani, Ariel M.; Hurley, Imogen A.; Norris, Rachael P.; Osovitz, Michelle; Terasaki, Mark; Wu, Mike; Aronowicz, Jochanan; Kirschner, Marc; Gerhart, John C.

    2018-01-01

    The Wnt family of secreted proteins has been proposed to play a conserved role in early specification of the bilaterian anteroposterior (A/P) axis. This hypothesis is based predominantly on data from vertebrate embryogenesis as well as planarian regeneration and homeostasis, indicating that canonical Wnt (cWnt) signaling endows cells with positional information along the A/P axis. Outside of these phyla, there is strong support for a conserved role of cWnt signaling in the repression of anterior fates, but little comparative support for a conserved role in promotion of posterior fates. We further test the hypothesis by investigating the role of cWnt signaling during early patterning along the A/P axis of the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii. We have cloned and investigated the expression of the complete Wnt ligand and Frizzled receptor complement of S. kowalevskii during early development along with many secreted Wnt modifiers. Eleven of the 13 Wnt ligands are ectodermally expressed in overlapping domains, predominantly in the posterior, and Wnt antagonists are localized predominantly to the anterior ectoderm in a pattern reminiscent of their distribution in vertebrate embryos. Overexpression and knockdown experiments, in combination with embryological manipulations, establish the importance of cWnt signaling for repression of anterior fates and activation of mid-axial ectodermal fates during the early development of S. kowalevskii. However, surprisingly, terminal posterior fates, defined by posterior Hox genes, are unresponsive to manipulation of cWnt levels during the early establishment of the A/P axis at late blastula and early gastrula. We establish experimental support for a conserved role of Wnt signaling in the early specification of the A/P axis during deuterostome body plan diversification, and further build support for an ancestral role of this pathway in early evolution of the bilaterian A/P axis. We find strong support for a role of cWnt in

  1. Early evolution of the LIM homeobox gene family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Srivastava, Mansi; Larroux, Claire; Lu, Daniel R; Mohanty, Kareshma; Chapman, Jarrod; Degnan, Bernard M; Rokhsar, Daniel S

    2010-01-01

    LIM homeobox (Lhx) transcription factors are unique to the animal lineage and have patterning roles during embryonic development in flies, nematodes and vertebrates, with a conserved role in specifying neuronal identity. Though genes of this family have been reported in a sponge and a cnidarian, the expression patterns and functions of the Lhx family during development in non-bilaterian phyla are not known. We identified Lhx genes in two cnidarians and a placozoan and report the expression of Lhx genes during embryonic development in Nematostella and the demosponge Amphimedon. Members of the six major LIM homeobox subfamilies are represented in the genomes of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, and the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. The hydrozoan cnidarian, Hydra magnipapillata, has retained four of the six Lhx subfamilies, but apparently lost two others. Only three subfamilies are represented in the haplosclerid demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. A tandem cluster of three Lhx genes of different subfamilies and a gene containing two LIM domains in the genome of T. adhaerens (an animal without any neurons) indicates that Lhx subfamilies were generated by tandem duplication. This tandem cluster in Trichoplax is likely a remnant of the original chromosomal context in which Lhx subfamilies first appeared. Three of the six Trichoplax Lhx genes are expressed in animals in laboratory culture, as are all Lhx genes in Hydra. Expression patterns of Nematostella Lhx genes correlate with neural territories in larval and juvenile polyp stages. In the aneural demosponge, A. queenslandica, the three Lhx genes are expressed widely during development, including in cells that are associated with the larval photosensory ring. The Lhx family expanded and diversified early in animal evolution, with all six subfamilies already diverged prior to the cnidarian-placozoan-bilaterian last common ancestor. In Nematostella, Lhx gene expression is correlated with neural

  2. The scavenger receptor repertoire in six cnidarian species and its putative role in cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie F. Neubauer

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Many cnidarians engage in a mutualism with endosymbiotic photosynthetic dinoflagellates that forms the basis of the coral reef ecosystem. Interpartner interaction and regulation includes involvement of the host innate immune system. Basal metazoans, including cnidarians have diverse and complex innate immune repertoires that are just beginning to be described. Scavenger receptors (SR are a diverse superfamily of innate immunity genes that recognize a broad array of microbial ligands and participate in phagocytosis of invading microbes. The superfamily includes subclades named SR-A through SR-I that are categorized based on the arrangement of sequence domains including the scavenger receptor cysteine rich (SRCR, the C-type lectin (CTLD and the CD36 domains. Previous functional and gene expression studies on cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis have implicated SR-like proteins in interpartner communication and regulation. In this study, we characterized the SR repertoire from a combination of genomic and transcriptomic resources from six cnidarian species in the Class Anthozoa. We combined these bioinformatic analyses with functional experiments using the SR inhibitor fucoidan to explore a role for SRs in cnidarian symbiosis and immunity. Bioinformatic searches revealed a large diversity of SR-like genes that resembled SR-As, SR-Bs, SR-Es and SR-Is. SRCRs, CTLDs and CD36 domains were identified in multiple sequences in combinations that were highly homologous to vertebrate SRs as well as in proteins with novel domain combinations. Phylogenetic analyses of CD36 domains of the SR-B-like sequences from a diversity of metazoans grouped cnidarian with bilaterian sequences separate from other basal metazoans. All cnidarian sequences grouped together with moderate support in a subclade separately from bilaterian sequences. Functional experiments were carried out on the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida that engages in a symbiosis with Symbiodinium minutum

  3. Genomic organization, evolution, and expression of photoprotein and opsin genes in Mnemiopsis leidyi: a new view of ctenophore photocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schnitzler Christine E

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium-activated photoproteins are luciferase variants found in photocyte cells of bioluminescent jellyfish (Phylum Cnidaria and comb jellies (Phylum Ctenophora. The complete genomic sequence from the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, a representative of the earliest branch of animals that emit light, provided an opportunity to examine the genome of an organism that uses this class of luciferase for bioluminescence and to look for genes involved in light reception. To determine when photoprotein genes first arose, we examined the genomic sequence from other early-branching taxa. We combined our genomic survey with gene trees, developmental expression patterns, and functional protein assays of photoproteins and opsins to provide a comprehensive view of light production and light reception in Mnemiopsis. Results The Mnemiopsis genome has 10 full-length photoprotein genes situated within two genomic clusters with high sequence conservation that are maintained due to strong purifying selection and concerted evolution. Photoprotein-like genes were also identified in the genomes of the non-luminescent sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and the non-luminescent cnidarian Nematostella vectensis, and phylogenomic analysis demonstrated that photoprotein genes arose at the base of all animals. Photoprotein gene expression in Mnemiopsis embryos begins during gastrulation in migrating precursors to photocytes and persists throughout development in the canals where photocytes reside. We identified three putative opsin genes in the Mnemiopsis genome and show that they do not group with well-known bilaterian opsin subfamilies. Interestingly, photoprotein transcripts are co-expressed with two of the putative opsins in developing photocytes. Opsin expression is also seen in the apical sensory organ. We present evidence that one opsin functions as a photopigment in vitro, absorbing light at wavelengths that overlap with peak photoprotein light

  4. Early evolution of the LIM homeobox gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Degnan Bernard M

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background LIM homeobox (Lhx transcription factors are unique to the animal lineage and have patterning roles during embryonic development in flies, nematodes and vertebrates, with a conserved role in specifying neuronal identity. Though genes of this family have been reported in a sponge and a cnidarian, the expression patterns and functions of the Lhx family during development in non-bilaterian phyla are not known. Results We identified Lhx genes in two cnidarians and a placozoan and report the expression of Lhx genes during embryonic development in Nematostella and the demosponge Amphimedon. Members of the six major LIM homeobox subfamilies are represented in the genomes of the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, and the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. The hydrozoan cnidarian, Hydra magnipapillata, has retained four of the six Lhx subfamilies, but apparently lost two others. Only three subfamilies are represented in the haplosclerid demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. A tandem cluster of three Lhx genes of different subfamilies and a gene containing two LIM domains in the genome of T. adhaerens (an animal without any neurons indicates that Lhx subfamilies were generated by tandem duplication. This tandem cluster in Trichoplax is likely a remnant of the original chromosomal context in which Lhx subfamilies first appeared. Three of the six Trichoplax Lhx genes are expressed in animals in laboratory culture, as are all Lhx genes in Hydra. Expression patterns of Nematostella Lhx genes correlate with neural territories in larval and juvenile polyp stages. In the aneural demosponge, A. queenslandica, the three Lhx genes are expressed widely during development, including in cells that are associated with the larval photosensory ring. Conclusions The Lhx family expanded and diversified early in animal evolution, with all six subfamilies already diverged prior to the cnidarian-placozoan-bilaterian last common ancestor. In

  5. Testing the new animal phylogeny: a phylum level molecular analysis of the animal kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourlat, Sarah J; Nielsen, Claus; Economou, Andrew D; Telford, Maximilian J

    2008-10-01

    The new animal phylogeny inferred from ribosomal genes some years ago has prompted a number of radical rearrangements of the traditional, morphology based metazoan tree. The two main bilaterian clades, Deuterostomia and Protostomia, find strong support, but the protostomes consist of two sister groups, Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa, not seen in morphology based trees. Although widely accepted, not all recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have supported the tripartite structure of the new animal phylogeny. Furthermore, even if the small ribosomal subunit (SSU) based phylogeny is correct, there is a frustrating lack of resolution of relationships between the phyla that make up the three clades of this tree. To address this issue, we have assembled a dataset including a large number of aligned sequence positions as well as a broad sampling of metazoan phyla. Our dataset consists of sequence data from ribosomal and mitochondrial genes combined with new data from protein coding genes (5139 amino acid and 3524 nucleotide positions in total) from 37 representative taxa sampled across the Metazoa. Our data show strong support for the basic structure of the new animal phylogeny as well as for the Mandibulata including Myriapoda. We also provide some resolution within the Lophotrochozoa, where we confirm support for a monophyletic clade of Echiura, Sipuncula and Annelida and surprising evidence of a close relationship between Brachiopoda and Nemertea.

  6. Functional studies on the role of Notch signaling in Hydractinia development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gahan, James M; Schnitzler, Christine E; DuBuc, Timothy Q; Doonan, Liam B; Kanska, Justyna; Gornik, Sebastian G; Barreira, Sofia; Thompson, Kerry; Schiffer, Philipp; Baxevanis, Andreas D; Frank, Uri

    2017-08-01

    The function of Notch signaling was previously studied in two cnidarians, Hydra and Nematostella, representing the lineages Hydrozoa and Anthozoa, respectively. Using pharmacological inhibition in Hydra and a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches in Nematostella, it was shown in both animals that Notch is required for tentacle morphogenesis and for late stages of stinging cell maturation. Surprisingly, a role for Notch in neural development, which is well documented in bilaterians, was evident in embryonic Nematostella but not in adult Hydra. Adult neurogenesis in the latter seemed to be unaffected by DAPT, a drug that inhibits Notch signaling. To address this apparent discrepancy, we studied the role of Notch in Hydractinia echinata, an additional hydrozoan, in all life stages. Using CRISPR-Cas9 mediated mutagenesis, transgenesis, and pharmacological interference we show that Notch is dispensable for Hydractinia normal neurogenesis in all life stages but is required for the maturation of stinging cells and for tentacle morphogenesis. Our results are consistent with a conserved role for Notch in morphogenesis and nematogenesis across Cnidaria, and a lineage-specific loss of Notch dependence in neurogenesis in hydrozoans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolution of extreme stomach pH in bilateria inferred from gastric alkalization mechanisms in basal deuterostomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpp, Meike; Hu, Marian Y; Tseng, Yung-Che; Guh, Ying-Jeh; Chen, Yi-Chih; Yu, Jr-Kai; Su, Yi-Hsien; Hwang, Pung-Pung

    2015-06-08

    The stomachs of most vertebrates operate at an acidic pH of 2 generated by the gastric H(+)/K(+)-ATPase located in parietal cells. The acidic pH in stomachs of vertebrates is believed to aid digestion and to protect against environmental pathogens. Little attention has been placed on whether acidic gastric pH regulation is a vertebrate character or a deuterostome ancestral trait. Here, we report alkaline conditions up to pH 10.5 in the larval digestive systems of ambulacraria (echinoderm + hemichordate), the closest relative of the chordate. Microelectrode measurements in combination with specific inhibitors for acid-base transporters and ion pumps demonstrated that the gastric alkalization machinery in sea urchin larvae is mainly based on direct H(+) secretion from the stomach lumen and involves a conserved set of ion pumps and transporters. Hemichordate larvae additionally utilized HCO3(-) transport pathways to generate even more alkaline digestive conditions. Molecular analyses in combination with acidification experiments supported these findings and identified genes coding for ion pumps energizing gastric alkalization. Given that insect larval guts were also reported to be alkaline, our discovery raises the hypothesis that the bilaterian ancestor utilized alkaline digestive system while the vertebrate lineage has evolved a strategy to strongly acidify their stomachs.

  8. The putative Notch ligand HyJagged is a transmembrane protein present in all cell types of adult Hydra and upregulated at the boundary between bud and parent

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    Tischer Susanne

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Notch signalling pathway is conserved in pre-bilaterian animals. In the Cnidarian Hydra it is involved in interstitial stem cell differentiation and in boundary formation during budding. Experimental evidence suggests that in Hydra Notch is activated by presenilin through proteolytic cleavage at the S3 site as in all animals. However, the endogenous ligand for HvNotch has not been described yet. Results We have cloned a cDNA from Hydra, which encodes a bona-fide Notch ligand with a conserved domain structure similar to that of Jagged-like Notch ligands from other animals. Hyjagged mRNA is undetectable in adult Hydra by in situ hybridisation but is strongly upregulated and easily visible at the border between bud and parent shortly before bud detachment. In contrast, HyJagged protein is found in all cell types of an adult hydra, where it localises to membranes and endosomes. Co-localisation experiments showed that it is present in the same cells as HvNotch, however not always in the same membrane structures. Conclusions The putative Notch ligand HyJagged is conserved in Cnidarians. Together with HvNotch it may be involved in the formation of the parent-bud boundary in Hydra. Moreover, protein distribution of both, HvNotch receptor and HyJagged indicate a more widespread function for these two transmembrane proteins in the adult hydra, which may be regulated by additional factors, possibly involving endocytic pathways.

  9. GFP-like proteins as ubiquitous metazoan superfamily: evolution of functional features and structural complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shagin, Dmitry A; Barsova, Ekaterina V; Yanushevich, Yurii G; Fradkov, Arkady F; Lukyanov, Konstantin A; Labas, Yulii A; Semenova, Tatiana N; Ugalde, Juan A; Meyers, Ann; Nunez, Jose M; Widder, Edith A; Lukyanov, Sergey A; Matz, Mikhail V

    2004-05-01

    Homologs of the green fluorescent protein (GFP), including the recently described GFP-like domains of certain extracellular matrix proteins in Bilaterian organisms, are remarkably similar at the protein structure level, yet they often perform totally unrelated functions, thereby warranting recognition as a superfamily. Here we describe diverse GFP-like proteins from previously undersampled and completely new sources, including hydromedusae and planktonic Copepoda. In hydromedusae, yellow and nonfluorescent purple proteins were found in addition to greens. Notably, the new yellow protein seems to follow exactly the same structural solution to achieving the yellow color of fluorescence as YFP, an engineered yellow-emitting mutant variant of GFP. The addition of these new sequences made it possible to resolve deep-level phylogenetic relationships within the superfamily. Fluorescence (most likely green) must have already existed in the common ancestor of Cnidaria and Bilateria, and therefore GFP-like proteins may be responsible for fluorescence and/or coloration in virtually any animal. At least 15 color diversification events can be inferred following the maximum parsimony principle in Cnidaria. Origination of red fluorescence and nonfluorescent purple-blue colors on several independent occasions provides a remarkable example of convergent evolution of complex features at the molecular level.

  10. Contribution of hedgehog signaling to the establishment of left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Jacob F; Miranda, Esther L; McClay, David R

    2016-03-15

    Most bilaterians exhibit a left-right asymmetric distribution of their internal organs. The sea urchin larva is notable in this regard since most adult structures are generated from left sided embryonic structures. The gene regulatory network governing this larval asymmetry is still a work in progress but involves several conserved signaling pathways including Nodal, and BMP. Here we provide a comprehensive analysis of Hedgehog signaling and it's contribution to left-right asymmetry. We report that Hh signaling plays a conserved role to regulate late asymmetric expression of Nodal and that this regulation occurs after Nodal breaks left-right symmetry in the mesoderm. Thus, while Hh functions to maintain late Nodal expression, the molecular asymmetry of the future coelomic pouches is locked in. Furthermore we report that cilia play a role only insofar as to transduce Hh signaling and do not have an independent effect on the asymmetry of the mesoderm. From this, we are able to construct a more complete regulatory network governing the establishment of left-right asymmetry in the sea urchin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Sea urchin tube feet are photosensory organs that express a rhabdomeric-like opsin and PAX6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesser, Michael P.; Carleton, Karen L.; Böttger, Stefanie A.; Barry, Thomas M.; Walker, Charles W.

    2011-01-01

    All echinoderms have unique hydraulic structures called tube feet, known for their roles in light sensitivity, respiration, chemoreception and locomotion. In the green sea urchin, the most distal portion of these tube feet contain five ossicles arranged as a light collector with its concave surface facing towards the ambient light. These ossicles are perforated and lined with pigment cells that express a PAX6 protein that is universally involved in the development of eyes and sensory organs in other bilaterians. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequencing and real time quantitative PCR (qPCR) also demonstrate the presence and differential expression of a rhabdomeric-like opsin within these tube feet. Morphologically, nerves that could serve to transmit information to the test innervate the tube feet, and the differential expression of opsin transcripts in the tube feet is inversely, and significantly, related to the amount of light that tube feet are exposed to depending on their location on the test. The expression of these genes, the differential expression of opsin based on light exposure and the unique morphological features at the distal portion of the tube foot strongly support the hypothesis that in addition to previously identified functional roles of tube feet they are also photosensory organs that detect and respond to changes in the underwater light field. PMID:21450733

  12. Cell formation by myxozoan species is not explained by dogma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David J.

    2010-01-01

    Eukaryotes form new cells through the replication of nuclei followed by cytokinesis. A notable exception is reported from the class Myxosporea of the phylum Myxozoa. This assemblage of approximately 2310 species is regarded as either basal bilaterian or cnidarian, depending on the phylogenetic analysis employed. For myxosporeans, cells have long been regarded as forming within other cells by a process referred to as endogenous budding. This would involve a nucleus forming endoplasmic reticulum around it, which transforms into a new plasma membrane, thus enclosing and separating it from the surrounding cell. This remarkable process, unique within the Metazoa, is accepted as occurring within stages found in vertebrate hosts, but has only been inferred from those stages observed within invertebrate hosts. Therefore, I conducted an ultrastructural study to examine how internal cells are formed by a myxosporean parasitizing an annelid. In this case, actinospore parasite stages clearly internalized existing cells; a process with analogies to the acquisition of endosymbiotic algae by cnidarian species. A subsequent examination of the myxozoan literature did not support endogenous budding, indicating that this process, which has been a central tenet of myxozoan developmental biology for over a century, is dogma. PMID:20392735

  13. The diversification of the LIM superclass at the base of the metazoa increased subcellular complexity and promoted multicellular specialization.

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    Bernard J Koch

    Full Text Available Throughout evolution, the LIM domain has been deployed in many different domain configurations, which has led to the formation of a large and distinct group of proteins. LIM proteins are involved in relaying stimuli received at the cell surface to the nucleus in order to regulate cell structure, motility, and division. Despite their fundamental roles in cellular processes and human disease, little is known about the evolution of the LIM superclass.We have identified and characterized all known LIM domain-containing proteins in six metazoans and three non-metazoans. In addition, we performed a phylogenetic analysis on all LIM domains and, in the process, have identified a number of novel non-LIM domains and motifs in each of these proteins. Based on these results, we have formalized a classification system for LIM proteins, provided reasonable timing for class and family origin events; and identified lineage-specific loss events. Our analysis is the first detailed description of the full set of LIM proteins from the non-bilaterian species examined in this study.Six of the 14 LIM classes originated in the stem lineage of the Metazoa. The expansion of the LIM superclass at the base of the Metazoa undoubtedly contributed to the increase in subcellular complexity required for the transition from a unicellular to multicellular lifestyle and, as such, was a critically important event in the history of animal multicellularity.

  14. Penetrative trace fossils from the late Ediacaran of Mongolia: early onset of the agronomic revolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oji, Tatsuo; Dornbos, Stephen Q.; Yada, Keigo; Hasegawa, Hitoshi; Gonchigdorj, Sersmaa; Mochizuki, Takafumi; Takayanagi, Hideko; Iryu, Yasufumi

    2018-02-01

    The Cambrian radiation of complex animals includes a dramatic increase in the depth and intensity of bioturbation in seafloor sediment known as the `agronomic revolution'. This bioturbation transition was coupled with a shift in dominant trace fossil style from horizontal surficial traces in the late Precambrian to vertically penetrative trace fossils in the Cambrian. Here we show the existence of the first vertically penetrative trace fossils from the latest Ediacaran: dense occurrences of the U-shaped trace fossil Arenicolites from late Precambrian marine carbonates of Western Mongolia. Their Ediacaran age is established through stable carbon isotope chemostratigraphy and their occurrence stratigraphically below the first appearance of the trace fossil Treptichnus pedum. These Arenicolites are large in diameter, penetrate down to at least 4 cm into the sediment, and were presumably formed by the activity of bilaterian animals. They are preserved commonly as paired circular openings on bedding planes with maximum diameters ranging up to almost 1 cm, and as U- and J-shaped tubes in vertical sections of beds. Discovery of these complex penetrative trace fossils demonstrates that the agronomic revolution started earlier than previously considered.

  15. Cell formation by myxozoan species is not explained by dogma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David J

    2010-08-22

    Eukaryotes form new cells through the replication of nuclei followed by cytokinesis. A notable exception is reported from the class Myxosporea of the phylum Myxozoa. This assemblage of approximately 2310 species is regarded as either basal bilaterian or cnidarian, depending on the phylogenetic analysis employed. For myxosporeans, cells have long been regarded as forming within other cells by a process referred to as endogenous budding. This would involve a nucleus forming endoplasmic reticulum around it, which transforms into a new plasma membrane, thus enclosing and separating it from the surrounding cell. This remarkable process, unique within the Metazoa, is accepted as occurring within stages found in vertebrate hosts, but has only been inferred from those stages observed within invertebrate hosts. Therefore, I conducted an ultrastructural study to examine how internal cells are formed by a myxosporean parasitizing an annelid. In this case, actinospore parasite stages clearly internalized existing cells; a process with analogies to the acquisition of endosymbiotic algae by cnidarian species. A subsequent examination of the myxozoan literature did not support endogenous budding, indicating that this process, which has been a central tenet of myxozoan developmental biology for over a century, is dogma.

  16. Lessons from Animal Models of Cytoplasmic Intermediate Filament Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouameur, Jamal-Eddine; Magin, Thomas M

    Cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) represent a major cytoskeletal network contributing to cell shape, adhesion and migration as well as to tissue resilience and renewal in numerous bilaterians, including mammals. The observation that IFs are dispensable in cultured mammalian cells, but cause tissue-specific, life-threatening disorders, has pushed the need to investigate their function in vivo. In keeping with human disease, the deletion or mutation of murine IF genes resulted in highly specific pathologies. Epidermal keratins, together with desmin, are essential to protect corresponding tissues against mechanical force but also participate in stabilizing cell adhesion and in inflammatory signalling. Surprisingly, other IF proteins contribute to tissue integrity to a much lesser extent than anticipated, pointing towards their role in stress situations. In support, the overexpression of small chaperones or the interference with inflammatory signalling in several settings has been shown to rescue severe tissue pathologies that resulted from the expression of mutant IF proteins. It stills remains an open issue whether the wide range of IF disorders share similar pathomechanisms. Moreover, we lack an understanding how IF proteins participate in signalling processes. Now, with a large number of mouse models in hand, the next challenge will be to develop organotypic cell culture models to dissect pathomechanisms at the molecular level, to employ Crispr/Cas-mediated genome engineering to optimize models and, finally, to combine available animal models with medicinal chemistry for the development of molecular therapies.

  17. Neurally Derived Tissues in Xenopus laevis Embryos Exhibit a Consistent Bioelectrical Left-Right Asymmetry

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    Vaibhav P. Pai

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Consistent left-right asymmetry in organ morphogenesis is a fascinating aspect of bilaterian development. Although embryonic patterning of asymmetric viscera, heart, and brain is beginning to be understood, less is known about possible subtle asymmetries present in anatomically identical paired structures. We investigated two important developmental events: physiological controls of eye development and specification of neural crest derivatives, in Xenopus laevis embryos. We found that the striking hyperpolarization of transmembrane potential (Vmem demarcating eye induction usually occurs in the right eye field first. This asymmetry is randomized by perturbing visceral left-right patterning, suggesting that eye asymmetry is linked to mechanisms establishing primary laterality. Bilateral misexpression of a depolarizing channel mRNA affects primarily the right eye, revealing an additional functional asymmetry in the control of eye patterning by Vmem. The ATP-sensitive K+ channel subunit transcript, SUR1, is asymmetrically expressed in the eye primordia, thus being a good candidate for the observed physiological asymmetries. Such subtle asymmetries are not only seen in the eye: consistent asymmetry was also observed in the migration of differentiated melanocytes on the left and right sides. These data suggest that even anatomically symmetrical structures may possess subtle but consistent laterality and interact with other developmental left-right patterning pathways.

  18. Origin and evolution of chromosomal sperm proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eirín-López, José M; Ausió, Juan

    2009-10-01

    In the eukaryotic cell, DNA compaction is achieved through its interaction with histones, constituting a nucleoprotein complex called chromatin. During metazoan evolution, the different structural and functional constraints imposed on the somatic and germinal cell lines led to a unique process of specialization of the sperm nuclear basic proteins (SNBPs) associated with chromatin in male germ cells. SNBPs encompass a heterogeneous group of proteins which, since their discovery in the nineteenth century, have been studied extensively in different organisms. However, the origin and controversial mechanisms driving the evolution of this group of proteins has only recently started to be understood. Here, we analyze in detail the histone hypothesis for the vertical parallel evolution of SNBPs, involving a "vertical" transition from a histone to a protamine-like and finally protamine types (H --> PL --> P), the last one of which is present in the sperm of organisms at the uppermost tips of the phylogenetic tree. In particular, the common ancestry shared by the protamine-like (PL)- and protamine (P)-types with histone H1 is discussed within the context of the diverse structural and functional constraints acting upon these proteins during bilaterian evolution.

  19. TRF2 and the evolution of the bilateria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duttke, Sascha H C; Doolittle, Russell F; Wang, Yuan-Liang; Kadonaga, James T

    2014-10-01

    The development of a complex body plan requires a diversity of regulatory networks. Here we consider the concept of TATA-box-binding protein (TBP) family proteins as "system factors" that each supports a distinct set of transcriptional programs. For instance, TBP activates TATA-box-dependent core promoters, whereas TBP-related factor 2 (TRF2) activates TATA-less core promoters that are dependent on a TCT or downstream core promoter element (DPE) motif. These findings led us to investigate the evolution of TRF2. TBP occurs in Archaea and eukaryotes, but TRF2 evolved prior to the emergence of the bilateria and subsequent to the evolutionary split between bilaterians and nonbilaterian animals. Unlike TBP, TRF2 does not bind to the TATA box and could thus function as a new system factor that is largely independent of TBP. We postulate that this TRF2-based system served as the foundation for new transcriptional programs, such as those involved in triploblasty and body plan development, that facilitated the evolution of bilateria. © 2014 Duttke et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  20. The TALE face of Hox proteins in animal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merabet, Samir; Galliot, Brigitte

    2015-01-01

    Hox genes are major regulators of embryonic development. One of their most conserved functions is to coordinate the formation of specific body structures along the anterior-posterior (AP) axis in Bilateria. This architectural role was at the basis of several morphological innovations across bilaterian evolution. In this review, we traced the origin of the Hox patterning system by considering the partnership with PBC and Meis proteins. PBC and Meis belong to the TALE-class of homeodomain-containing transcription factors and act as generic cofactors of Hox proteins for AP axis patterning in Bilateria. Recent data indicate that Hox proteins acquired the ability to interact with their TALE partners in the last common ancestor of Bilateria and Cnidaria. These interactions relied initially on a short peptide motif called hexapeptide (HX), which is present in Hox and non-Hox protein families. Remarkably, Hox proteins can also recruit the TALE cofactors by using specific PBC Interaction Motifs (SPIMs). We describe how a functional Hox/TALE patterning system emerged in eumetazoans through the acquisition of SPIMs. We anticipate that interaction flexibility could be found in other patterning systems, being at the heart of the astonishing morphological diversity observed in the animal kingdom.

  1. Interplay between a Wnt-dependent organiser and the Notch segmentation clock regulates posterior development in Periplaneta americana

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    John E. Chesebro

    2012-12-01

    Sequential addition of segments in the posteriorly growing end of the embryo is a developmental mechanism common to many bilaterians. However, posterior growth and patterning in most animals also entails the establishment of a ‘posterior organiser’ that expresses the Caudal and Wnt proteins and has been proposed to be an ancestral feature of animal development. We have studied the functional relationships between the Wnt-driven organiser and the segmentation mechanisms in a basal insect, the cockroach Periplaneta americana. Here, posteriorly-expressed Wnt1 promotes caudal and Delta expression early in development to generate a growth zone from which segments will later bud off. caudal maintains the undifferentiated growth zone by dampening Delta expression, and hence Notch-mediated segmentation occurs just outside the caudal domain. In turn, Delta expression maintains Wnt1, maintaining this posterior gene network until all segments have formed. This feedback between caudal, Wnt and Notch-signalling in regulating growth and segmentation seems conserved in other arthropods, with some aspects found even in vertebrates. Thus our findings not only support an ancestral Wnt posterior organiser, but also impinge on the proposals for a common origin of segmentation in arthropods, annelids and vertebrates.

  2. Developmental principles: fact or fiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durston, A J

    2012-01-01

    While still at school, most of us are deeply impressed by the underlying principles that so beautifully explain why the chemical elements are ordered as they are in the periodic table, and may wonder, with the theoretician Brian Goodwin, "whether there might be equally powerful principles that account for the awe-inspiring diversity of body forms in the living realm". We have considered the arguments for developmental principles, conclude that they do exist and have specifically identified features that may generate principles associated with Hox patterning of the main body axis in bilaterian metazoa in general and in the vertebrates in particular. We wonder whether this exercise serves any purpose. The features we discuss were already known to us as parts of developmental mechanisms and defining developmental principles (how, and at which level?) adds no insight. We also see little profit in the proposal by Goodwin that there are principles outside the emerging genetic mechanisms that need to be taken into account. The emerging developmental genetic hierarchies already reveal a wealth of interesting phenomena, whatever we choose to call them.

  3. Developmental Principles: Fact or Fiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J. Durston

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available While still at school, most of us are deeply impressed by the underlying principles that so beautifully explain why the chemical elements are ordered as they are in the periodic table, and may wonder, with the theoretician Brian Goodwin, “whether there might be equally powerful principles that account for the awe-inspiring diversity of body forms in the living realm”. We have considered the arguments for developmental principles, conclude that they do exist and have specifically identified features that may generate principles associated with Hox patterning of the main body axis in bilaterian metazoa in general and in the vertebrates in particular. We wonder whether this exercise serves any purpose. The features we discuss were already known to us as parts of developmental mechanisms and defining developmental principles (how, and at which level? adds no insight. We also see little profit in the proposal by Goodwin that there are principles outside the emerging genetic mechanisms that need to be taken into account. The emerging developmental genetic hierarchies already reveal a wealth of interesting phenomena, whatever we choose to call them.

  4. Unusual Gene Order and Organization of the Sea Urchin HoxCluster

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richardson, Paul M.; Lucas, Susan; Cameron, R. Andrew; Rowen,Lee; Nesbitt, Ryan; Bloom, Scott; Rast, Jonathan P.; Berney, Kevin; Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Martinez, Pedro; Davidson, Eric H.; Peterson, KevinJ.; Hood, Leroy

    2005-05-10

    The highly consistent gene order and axial colinear expression patterns found in vertebrate hox gene clusters are less well conserved across the rest of bilaterians. We report the first deuterostome instance of an intact hox cluster with a unique gene order where the paralog groups are not expressed in a sequential manner. The finished sequence from BAC clones from the genome of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, reveals a gene order wherein the anterior genes (Hox1, Hox2 and Hox3) lie nearest the posterior genes in the cluster such that the most 3' gene is Hox5. (The gene order is : 5'-Hox1,2, 3, 11/13c, 11/13b, '11/13a, 9/10, 8, 7, 6, 5 - 3)'. The finished sequence result is corroborated by restriction mapping evidence and BAC-end scaffold analyses. Comparisons with a putative ancestral deuterostome Hox gene cluster suggest that the rearrangements leading to the sea urchin gene order were many and complex.

  5. The genetics of colony form and function in Caribbean Acropora corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemond, Elizabeth M; Kaluziak, Stefan T; Vollmer, Steven V

    2014-12-17

    Colonial reef-building corals have evolved a broad spectrum of colony morphologies based on coordinated asexual reproduction of polyps on a secreted calcium carbonate skeleton. Though cnidarians have been shown to possess and use similar developmental genes to bilaterians during larval development and polyp formation, little is known about genetic regulation of colony morphology in hard corals. We used RNA-seq to evaluate transcriptomic differences between functionally distinct regions of the coral (apical branch tips and branch bases) in two species of Caribbean Acropora, the staghorn coral, A. cervicornis, and the elkhorn coral, A. palmata. Transcriptome-wide gene profiles differed significantly between different parts of the coral colony as well as between species. Genes showing differential expression between branch tips and bases were involved in developmental signaling pathways, such as Wnt, Notch, and BMP, as well as pH regulation, ion transport, extracellular matrix production and other processes. Differences both within colonies and between species identify a relatively small number of genes that may contribute to the distinct "staghorn" versus "elkhorn" morphologies of these two sister species. The large number of differentially expressed genes supports a strong division of labor between coral branch tips and branch bases. Genes involved in growth of mature Acropora colonies include the classical signaling pathways associated with development of cnidarian larvae and polyps as well as morphological determination in higher metazoans.

  6. The evolutionary origin of the Runx/CBFbeta transcription factors – Studies of the most basal metazoans

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    Groner Yoram

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the Runx family of transcriptional regulators, which bind DNA as heterodimers with CBFβ, are known to play critical roles in embryonic development in many triploblastic animals such as mammals and insects. They are known to regulate basic developmental processes such as cell fate determination and cellular potency in multiple stem-cell types, including the sensory nerve cell progenitors of ganglia in mammals. Results In this study, we detect and characterize the hitherto unexplored Runx/CBFβ genes of cnidarians and sponges, two basal animal lineages that are well known for their extensive regenerative capacity. Comparative structural modeling indicates that the Runx-CBFβ-DNA complex from most cnidarians and sponges is highly similar to that found in humans, with changes in the residues involved in Runx-CBFβ dimerization in either of the proteins mirrored by compensatory changes in the binding partner. In situ hybridization studies reveal that Nematostella Runx and CBFβ are expressed predominantly in small isolated foci at the base of the ectoderm of the tentacles in adult animals, possibly representing neurons or their progenitors. Conclusion These results reveal that Runx and CBFβ likely functioned together to regulate transcription in the common ancestor of all metazoans, and the structure of the Runx-CBFβ-DNA complex has remained extremely conserved since the human-sponge divergence. The expression data suggest a hypothesis that these genes may have played a role in nerve cell differentiation or maintenance in the common ancestor of cnidarians and bilaterians.

  7. Annelids in evolutionary developmental biology and comparative genomics

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    Mcdougall C.

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Annelids have had a long history in comparative embryology and morphology, which has helped to establish them in zoology textbooks as an ideal system to understand the evolution of the typical triploblastic, coelomate, protostome condition. In recent years there has been a relative upsurge in embryological data, particularly with regard to the expression and function of developmental control genes. Polychaetes, as well as other annelids such as the parasitic leech, are now also entering the age of comparative genomics. All of this comparative data has had an important impact on our views of the ancestral conditions at various levels of the animal phylogeny, including the bilaterian ancestor and the nature of the annelid ancestor. Here we review some of the recent advances made in annelid comparative development and genomics, revealing a hitherto unsuspected level of complexity in these ancestors. It is also apparent that the transition to a parasitic lifestyle leads to, or requires, extensive modifications and derivations at both the genomic and embryological levels.

  8. Ontology for the asexual development and anatomy of the colonial chordate Botryllus schlosseri.

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    Lucia Manni

    Full Text Available Ontologies provide an important resource to integrate information. For developmental biology and comparative anatomy studies, ontologies of a species are used to formalize and annotate data that are related to anatomical structures, their lineage and timing of development. Here, we have constructed the first ontology for anatomy and asexual development (blastogenesis of a bilaterian, the colonial tunicate Botryllus schlosseri. Tunicates, like Botryllus schlosseri, are non-vertebrates and the only chordate taxon species that reproduce both sexually and asexually. Their tadpole larval stage possesses structures characteristic of all chordates, i.e. a notochord, a dorsal neural tube, and gill slits. Larvae settle and metamorphose into individuals that are either solitary or colonial. The latter reproduce both sexually and asexually and these two reproductive modes lead to essentially the same adult body plan. The Botryllus schlosseri Ontology of Development and Anatomy (BODA will facilitate the comparison between both types of development. BODA uses the rules defined by the Open Biomedical Ontologies Foundry. It is based on studies that investigate the anatomy, blastogenesis and regeneration of this organism. BODA features allow the users to easily search and identify anatomical structures in the colony, to define the developmental stage, and to follow the morphogenetic events of a tissue and/or organ of interest throughout asexual development. We invite the scientific community to use this resource as a reference for the anatomy and developmental ontology of B. schlosseri and encourage recommendations for updates and improvements.

  9. Did the notochord evolve from an ancient axial muscle? The axochord hypothesis.

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    Brunet, Thibaut; Lauri, Antonella; Arendt, Detlev

    2015-08-01

    The origin of the notochord is one of the key remaining mysteries of our evolutionary ancestry. Here, we present a multi-level comparison of the chordate notochord to the axochord, a paired axial muscle spanning the ventral midline of annelid worms and other invertebrates. At the cellular level, comparative molecular profiling in the marine annelids P. dumerilii and C. teleta reveals expression of similar, specific gene sets in presumptive axochordal and notochordal cells. These cells also occupy corresponding positions in a conserved anatomical topology and undergo similar morphogenetic movements. At the organ level, a detailed comparison of bilaterian musculatures reveals that most phyla form axochord-like muscles, suggesting that such a muscle was already present in urbilaterian ancestors. Integrating comparative evidence at the cell and organ level, we propose that the notochord evolved by modification of a ventromedian muscle followed by the assembly of an axial complex supporting swimming in vertebrate ancestors. © 2015 The Authors. Bioessays published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Neurogenesis in an early protostome relative: progenitor cells in the ventral nerve center of chaetognath hatchlings are arranged in a highly organized geometrical pattern.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Yvan; Rieger, Verena; Martin, Elise; Müller, Carsten H G; Harzsch, Steffen

    2013-05-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that Chaetognatha represent an evolutionary lineage that is the sister group to all other Protostomia thus promoting these animals as a pivotal model for our understanding of bilaterian evolutionary history. We have analyzed the proliferation of neuronal progenitor cells in the developing ventral nerve center (VNC) of Spadella cephaloptera hatchlings. To that end, for the first time in Chaetognatha, we performed in vivo incorporation experiments with the S-phase specific mitosis marker bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). Our experiments provide evidence for a high level of mitotic activity in the VNC for ca. 3 days after hatching. Neurogenesis is carried by presumptive neuronal progenitor cells that cycle rapidly and most likely divide asymmetrically. These progenitors are arranged in a distinct grid-like geometrical pattern including about 35 transverse rows. Considering Chaetognaths to be an early offshoot of the protostome lineage we conclude that the presence of neuronal progenitor cells with asymmetric division seems to be a feature that is rooted deeply in the Metazoa. In the light of previous evidence indicating the presence of serially iterated peptidergic neurons with individual identities in the chaetognath VNC, we discuss if these neuronal progenitor cells give rise to distinct lineages. Furthermore, we evaluate the serially iterated arrangement of the progenitor cells in the light of evolution of segmentation. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Hox genes and evolution [version 1; referees: 3 approved

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    Steven M. Hrycaj

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Hox proteins are a deeply conserved group of transcription factors originally defined for their critical roles in governing segmental identity along the antero-posterior (AP axis in Drosophila. Over the last 30 years, numerous data generated in evolutionarily diverse taxa have clearly shown that changes in the expression patterns of these genes are closely associated with the regionalization of the AP axis, suggesting that Hox genes have played a critical role in the evolution of novel body plans within Bilateria. Despite this deep functional conservation and the importance of these genes in AP patterning, key questions remain regarding many aspects of Hox biology. In this commentary, we highlight recent reports that have provided novel insight into the origins of the mammalian Hox cluster, the role of Hox genes in the generation of a limbless body plan, and a novel putative mechanism in which Hox genes may encode specificity along the AP axis. Although the data discussed here offer a fresh perspective, it is clear that there is still much to learn about Hox biology and the roles it has played in the evolution of the Bilaterian body plan.

  12. The ancestral retinoic acid receptor was a low-affinity sensor triggering neuronal differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Handberg-Thorsager, Mette

    2018-02-22

    Retinoic acid (RA) is an important intercellular signaling molecule in vertebrate development, with a well-established role in the regulation of hox genes during hindbrain patterning and in neurogenesis. However, the evolutionary origin of the RA signaling pathway remains elusive. To elucidate the evolution of the RA signaling system, we characterized RA metabolism and signaling in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, a powerful model for evolution, development, and neurobiology. Binding assays and crystal structure analyses show that the annelid retinoic acid receptor (RAR) binds RA and activates transcription just as vertebrate RARs, yet with a different ligand-binding pocket and lower binding affinity, suggesting a permissive rather than instructive role of RA signaling. RAR knockdown and RA treatment of swimming annelid larvae further reveal that the RA signal is locally received in the medial neuroectoderm, where it controls neurogenesis and axon outgrowth, whereas the spatial colinear hox gene expression in the neuroectoderm remains unaffected. These findings suggest that one early role of the new RAR in bilaterian evolution was to control the spatially restricted onset of motor and interneuron differentiation in the developing ventral nerve cord and to indicate that the regulation of hox-controlled anterior-posterior patterning arose only at the base of the chordates, concomitant with a high-affinity RAR needed for the interpretation of a complex RA gradient.

  13. Expression of Fox genes in the cephalochordate Branchiostoma lanceolatum

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    Daniel eAldea

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Forkhead box (Fox genes code for transcription factors that play important roles in different biological processes. They are found in a wide variety of organisms and appeared in unicellular eukaryotes. In metazoans, the gene family includes many members that can be subdivided into 24 classes. Cephalochordates are key organisms to understand the functional evolution of gene families in the chordate lineage due to their phylogenetic position as an early divergent chordate, their simple anatomy and genome structure. In the genome of the cephalochordate amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae, 32 Fox genes were identified, with at least one member for each of the classes that were present in the ancestor of bilaterians. In this work we describe the expression pattern of 13 of these genes during the embryonic development of the Mediterranean amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum. We found that FoxK and FoxM genes present an ubiquitous expression while all the others show specific expression patterns restricted to diverse embryonic territories. Many of these expression patterns are conserved with vertebrates, suggesting that the main functions of Fox genes in chordates were present in their common ancestor.

  14. Animal regeneration: ancestral character or evolutionary novelty?

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    Slack, Jonathan Mw

    2017-09-01

    An old question about regeneration is whether it is an ancestral character which is a general property of living matter, or whether it represents a set of specific adaptations to the different circumstances faced by different types of animal. In this review, some recent results on regeneration are assessed to see if they can throw any new light on this question. Evidence in favour of an ancestral character comes from the role of Wnt and bone morphogenetic protein signalling in controlling the pattern of whole-body regeneration in acoels, which are a basal group of bilaterian animals. On the other hand, there is some evidence for adaptive acquisition or maintenance of the regeneration of appendages based on the occurrence of severe non-lethal predation, the existence of some novel genes in regenerating organisms, and differences at the molecular level between apparently similar forms of regeneration. It is tentatively concluded that whole-body regeneration is an ancestral character although has been lost from most animal lineages. Appendage regeneration is more likely to represent a derived character resulting from many specific adaptations. © 2017 The Author.

  15. Decoupling of body-plan diversification and ecological structuring during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition: evolutionary and geobiological feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mángano, M Gabriela; Buatois, Luis A

    2014-04-07

    The rapid appearance of bilaterian clades at the beginning of the Phanerozoic is one of the most intriguing topics in macroevolution. However, the complex feedbacks between diversification and ecological interactions are still poorly understood. Here, we show that a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the trace-fossil record of the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition indicates that body-plan diversification and ecological structuring were decoupled. The appearance of a wide repertoire of behavioural strategies and body plans occurred by the Fortunian. However, a major shift in benthic ecological structure, recording the establishment of a suspension-feeder infauna, increased complexity of the trophic web, and coupling of benthos and plankton took place during Cambrian Stage 2. Both phases were accompanied by different styles of ecosystem engineering, but only the second one resulted in the establishment of the Phanerozoic-style ecology. In turn, the suspension-feeding infauna may have been the ecological drivers of a further diversification of deposit-feeding strategies by Cambrian Stage 3, favouring an ecological spillover scenario. Trace-fossil information strongly supports the Cambrian explosion, but allows for a short time of phylogenetic fuse during the terminal Ediacaran-Fortunian.

  16. Regulatory RNA at the root of animals: dynamic expression of developmental lincRNAs in the calcisponge Sycon ciliatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bråte, Jon; Adamski, Marcin; Neumann, Ralf S; Shalchian-Tabrizi, Kamran; Adamska, Maja

    2015-12-22

    Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important regulatory roles during animal development, and it has been hypothesized that an RNA-based gene regulation was important for the evolution of developmental complexity in animals. However, most studies of lncRNA gene regulation have been performed using model animal species, and very little is known about this type of gene regulation in non-bilaterians. We have therefore analysed RNA-Seq data derived from a comprehensive set of embryogenesis stages in the calcareous sponge Sycon ciliatum and identified hundreds of developmentally expressed intergenic lncRNAs (lincRNAs) in this species. In situ hybridization of selected lincRNAs revealed dynamic spatial and temporal expression during embryonic development. More than 600 lincRNAs constitute integral parts of differentially expressed gene modules, which also contain known developmental regulatory genes, e.g. transcription factors and signalling molecules. This study provides insights into the non-coding gene repertoire of one of the earliest evolved animal lineages, and suggests that RNA-based gene regulation was probably present in the last common ancestor of animals. © 2015 The Authors.

  17. Agent of whirling disease meets orphan worm: phylogenomic analyses firmly place Myxozoa in Cnidaria.

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    Maximilian P Nesnidal

    Full Text Available Myxozoa are microscopic obligate endoparasites with complex live cycles. Representatives are Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease in salmonids, and the enigmatic "orphan worm" Buddenbrockia plumatellae parasitizing in Bryozoa. Originally, Myxozoa were classified as protists, but later several metazoan characteristics were reported. However, their phylogenetic relationships remained doubtful. Some molecular phylogenetic analyses placed them as sister group to or even within Bilateria, whereas the possession of polar capsules that are similar to nematocysts of Cnidaria and of minicollagen genes suggest a close relationship between Myxozoa and Cnidaria. EST data of Buddenbrockia also indicated a cnidarian origin of Myxozoa, but were not sufficient to reject a closer relationship to bilaterians. Phylogenomic analyses of new genomic sequences of Myxobolus cerebralis firmly place Myxozoa as sister group to Medusozoa within Cnidaria. Based on the new dataset, the alternative hypothesis that Myxozoa form a clade with Bilateria can be rejected using topology tests. Sensitivity analyses indicate that this result is not affected by long branch attraction artifacts or compositional bias.

  18. Ichnologic evidence of a Cambrian age in the southern Amazon Craton: Implications for the onset of the Western Gondwana history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Hudson P.; Mángano, M. Gabriela; Soares, Joelson L.; Nogueira, Afonso C. R.; Bandeira, José; Rudnitzki, Isaac D.

    2017-07-01

    Colonization of the infaunal ecospace by burrowing bilaterians is one of the most important behavioral innovations during the Ediacaran-Cambrian transition. The establishment of vertical burrows by suspension feeders in high-energy nearshore settings during Cambrian Age 2 is reflected by the appearance of the Skolithos Ichnofacies. For the first time, unquestionable vertical burrows typical of the Skolithos Ichnofacies, such as Skolithos linearis, Diplocraterion parallelum and Arenicolites isp., are recorded from nearshore siliciclastic deposits of the Raizama Formation, southeastern Amazon Craton, Brazil. Integration of ichnologic and sedimentologic datasets suggests that these trace fossils record colonization of high-energy and well-oxygenated nearshore sandy environments. Chronostratigraphically, the presence of these vertical burrows indicates an age not older than early Cambrian for the Raizama Formation, which traditionally has been regarded as Ediacaran. Therefore, the Raizama ichnofauna illustrates the advent of modern Phanerozoic ecology marked by the Agronomic Revolution. The discovery of the Skolithos Ichnofacies in these shallow-marine strata suggests possible connections between some central Western Gondwana basins.

  19. The ancestral retinoic acid receptor was a low-affinity sensor triggering neuronal differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handberg-Thorsager, Mette; Gutierrez-Mazariegos, Juliana; Arold, Stefan T.; Kumar Nadendla, Eswar; Bertucci, Paola Y.; Germain, Pierre; Tomançak, Pavel; Pierzchalski, Keely; Jones, Jace W.; Albalat, Ricard; Kane, Maureen A.; Bourguet, William; Laudet, Vincent; Arendt, Detlev; Schubert, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) is an important intercellular signaling molecule in vertebrate development, with a well-established role in the regulation of hox genes during hindbrain patterning and in neurogenesis. However, the evolutionary origin of the RA signaling pathway remains elusive. To elucidate the evolution of the RA signaling system, we characterized RA metabolism and signaling in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, a powerful model for evolution, development, and neurobiology. Binding assays and crystal structure analyses show that the annelid retinoic acid receptor (RAR) binds RA and activates transcription just as vertebrate RARs, yet with a different ligand-binding pocket and lower binding affinity, suggesting a permissive rather than instructive role of RA signaling. RAR knockdown and RA treatment of swimming annelid larvae further reveal that the RA signal is locally received in the medial neuroectoderm, where it controls neurogenesis and axon outgrowth, whereas the spatial colinear hox gene expression in the neuroectoderm remains unaffected. These findings suggest that one early role of the new RAR in bilaterian evolution was to control the spatially restricted onset of motor and interneuron differentiation in the developing ventral nerve cord and to indicate that the regulation of hox-controlled anterior-posterior patterning arose only at the base of the chordates, concomitant with a high-affinity RAR needed for the interpretation of a complex RA gradient. PMID:29492455

  20. Cytosine methylation is a conserved epigenetic feature found throughout the phylum Platyhelminthes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The phylum Platyhelminthes (flatworms) contains an important group of bilaterian organisms responsible for many debilitating and chronic infectious diseases of human and animal populations inhabiting the planet today. In addition to their biomedical and veterinary relevance, some platyhelminths are also frequently used models for understanding tissue regeneration and stem cell biology. Therefore, the molecular (genetic and epigenetic) characteristics that underlie trophic specialism, pathogenicity or developmental maturation are likely to be pivotal in our continued studies of this important metazoan group. Indeed, in contrast to earlier studies that failed to detect evidence of cytosine or adenine methylation in parasitic flatworm taxa, our laboratory has recently defined a critical role for cytosine methylation in Schistosoma mansoni oviposition, egg maturation and ovarian development. Thus, in order to identify whether this epigenetic modification features in other platyhelminth species or is a novelty of S. mansoni, we conducted a study simultaneously surveying for DNA methylation machinery components and DNA methylation marks throughout the phylum using both parasitic and non-parasitic representatives. Results Firstly, using both S. mansoni DNA methyltransferase 2 (SmDNMT2) and methyl-CpG binding domain protein (SmMBD) as query sequences, we illustrate that essential DNA methylation machinery components are well conserved throughout the phylum. Secondly, using both molecular (methylation specific amplification polymorphism, MSAP) and immunological (enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay, ELISA) methodologies, we demonstrate that representative species (Echinococcus multilocularis, Protopolystoma xenopodis, Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, Fasciola hepatica and Polycelis nigra) within all four platyhelminth classes (Cestoda, Monogenea, Trematoda and ‘Turbellaria’) contain methylated cytosines within their genome compartments

  1. Substantial Loss of Conserved and Gain of Novel MicroRNA Families in Flatworms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fromm, Bastian; Worren, Merete Molton; Hahn, Christoph; Hovig, Eivind; Bachmann, Lutz

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on microRNA (miRNA) evolution focused mainly on the comparison of miRNA complements between animal clades. However, evolution of miRNAs within such groups is poorly explored despite the availability of comparable data that in some cases lack only a few key taxa. For flatworms (Platyhelminthes), miRNA complements are available for some free-living flatworms and all major parasitic lineages, except for the Monogenea. We present the miRNA complement of the monogenean flatworm Gyrodactylus salaris that facilitates a comprehensive analysis of miRNA evolution in Platyhelminthes. Using the newly designed bioinformatics pipeline miRCandRef, the miRNA complement was disentangled from next-generation sequencing of small RNAs and genomic DNA without a priori genome assembly. It consists of 39 miRNA hairpin loci of conserved miRNA families, and 22 novel miRNAs. A comparison with the miRNA complements of Schmidtea mediterranea (Turbellaria), Schistosoma japonicum (Trematoda), and Echinococcus granulosus (Cestoda) reveals a substantial loss of conserved bilaterian, protostomian, and lophotrochozoan miRNAs. Eight of the 46 expected conserved miRNAs were lost in all flatworms, 16 in Neodermata and 24 conserved miRNAs could not be detected in the cestode and the trematode. Such a gradual loss of miRNAs has not been reported before for other animal phyla. Currently, little is known about miRNAs in Platyhelminthes, and for the majority of the lost miRNAs there is no prediction of function. As suggested earlier they might be related to morphological simplifications. The presence and absence of 153 conserved miRNAs was compared for platyhelminths and 32 other metazoan taxa. Phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Platyhelminthes (Turbellaria + Neodermata [Monogenea {Trematoda + Cestoda}]). PMID:24025793

  2. Widespread presence of human BOULE homologs among animals and conservation of their ancient reproductive function.

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    Chirag Shah

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sex-specific traits that lead to the production of dimorphic gametes, sperm in males and eggs in females, are fundamental for sexual reproduction and accordingly widespread among animals. Yet the sex-biased genes that underlie these sex-specific traits are under strong selective pressure, and as a result of adaptive evolution they often become divergent. Indeed out of hundreds of male or female fertility genes identified in diverse organisms, only a very small number of them are implicated specifically in reproduction in more than one lineage. Few genes have exhibited a sex-biased, reproductive-specific requirement beyond a given phylum, raising the question of whether any sex-specific gametogenesis factors could be conserved and whether gametogenesis might have evolved multiple times. Here we describe a metazoan origin of a conserved human reproductive protein, BOULE, and its prevalence from primitive basal metazoans to chordates. We found that BOULE homologs are present in the genomes of representative species of each of the major lineages of metazoans and exhibit reproductive-specific expression in all species examined, with a preponderance of male-biased expression. Examination of Boule evolution within insect and mammalian lineages revealed little evidence for accelerated evolution, unlike most reproductive genes. Instead, purifying selection was the major force behind Boule evolution. Furthermore, loss of function of mammalian Boule resulted in male-specific infertility and a global arrest of sperm development remarkably similar to the phenotype in an insect boule mutation. This work demonstrates the conservation of a reproductive protein throughout eumetazoa, its predominant testis-biased expression in diverse bilaterian species, and conservation of a male gametogenic requirement in mice. This shows an ancient gametogenesis requirement for Boule among Bilateria and supports a model of a common origin of spermatogenesis.

  3. Biodiversity and evolution of the Myxozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canning, Elizabeth U; Okamura, Beth

    2004-01-01

    Myxozoans (phylum Myxozoa) are metazoan parasites utilizing invertebrate and (mainly) aquatic vertebrate hosts. They have in common with cnidarians the possession of virtually identical, highly complex organelles, namely the polar capsules in myxozoan spores, serving for attachment to new hosts and the nematocysts in surface epithelia of cnidarians, serving for food capture. Although myxozoan spores are multicellular, the simple trophic body forms of almost all species, reduced to syncytial plasmodia or single cells, reveal no clues to myxozoan ancestry or phylogenetic relationships. The myxozoan genus Buddenbrockia is one of only two known genera belonging to a clade which diverged early in the evolution of the Myxozoa. Today the Myxozoa are represented by two classes, the Myxosporea, containing all the better-known genera, which alternate between fish and annelids, and the Malacosporea, containing Buddenbrockia and Tetracapsuloides, parasitising bryozoans. The latter genus also infects salmonid fish, causing proliferative kidney disease (PKD). The enigmatic Buddenbrockia has retained some of its ancestral features in a body wall of two cell layers and a worm-like shape, maintained by four longitudinally-running muscle blocks, similar to a gutless nematode and suggestive of a bilaterian ancestry. Although some analyses of 18S rDNA sequences tend towards a cnidarian (diploblast) affinity for myxozoans, the majority of these studies place them within, or sister to, the Bilateria. The latter view is supported by their possession of central class Hox genes, so far considered to be synapomorphic for Bilateria. The simple body form is, therefore, an extreme example of simplification due to parasitism. Various hypotheses for the occurrence of identical complex organelles (nematocysts and polar capsules) in diploblast and triploblast phyla are evaluated: common ancestry, convergent evolution, gene transfer and, especially, endosymbiosis. A theory of the evolution of their

  4. Think like a sponge: The genetic signal of sensory cells in sponges.

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    Mah, Jasmine L; Leys, Sally P

    2017-11-01

    A complex genetic repertoire underlies the apparently simple body plan of sponges. Among the genes present in poriferans are those fundamental to the sensory and nervous systems of other animals. Sponges are dynamic and sensitive animals and it is intuitive to link these genes to behaviour. The proposal that ctenophores are the earliest diverging metazoan has led to the question of whether sponges possess a 'pre-nervous' system or have undergone nervous system loss. Both lines of thought generally assume that the last common ancestor of sponges and eumetazoans possessed the genetic modules that underlie sensory abilities. By corollary extant sponges may possess a sensory cell homologous to one present in the last common ancestor, a hypothesis that has been studied by gene expression. We have performed a meta-analysis of all gene expression studies published to date to explore whether gene expression is indicative of a feature's sensory function. In sponges we find that eumetazoan sensory-neural markers are not particularly expressed in structures with known sensory functions. Instead it is common for these genes to be expressed in cells with no known or uncharacterized sensory function. Indeed, many sensory-neural markers so far studied are expressed during development, perhaps because many are transcription factors. This suggests that the genetic signal of a sponge sensory cell is dissimilar enough to be unrecognizable when compared to a bilaterian sensory or neural cell. It is possible that sensory-neural markers have as yet unknown functions in sponge cells, such as assembling an immunological synapse in the larval globular cell. Furthermore, the expression of sensory-neural markers in non-sensory cells, such as adult and larval epithelial cells, suggest that these cells may have uncharacterized sensory functions. While this does not rule out the co-option of ancestral sensory modules in later evolving groups, a distinct genetic foundation may underlie the

  5. BMPs regulate msx gene expression in the dorsal neuroectoderm of Drosophila and vertebrates by distinct mechanisms.

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    Esteves, Francisco F; Springhorn, Alexander; Kague, Erika; Taylor, Erika; Pyrowolakis, George; Fisher, Shannon; Bier, Ethan

    2014-09-01

    In a broad variety of bilaterian species the trunk central nervous system (CNS) derives from three primary rows of neuroblasts. The fates of these neural progenitor cells are determined in part by three conserved transcription factors: vnd/nkx2.2, ind/gsh and msh/msx in Drosophila melanogaster/vertebrates, which are expressed in corresponding non-overlapping patterns along the dorsal-ventral axis. While this conserved suite of "neural identity" gene expression strongly suggests a common ancestral origin for the patterning systems, it is unclear whether the original regulatory mechanisms establishing these patterns have been similarly conserved during evolution. In Drosophila, genetic evidence suggests that Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) act in a dosage-dependent fashion to repress expression of neural identity genes. BMPs also play a dose-dependent role in patterning the dorsal and lateral regions of the vertebrate CNS, however, the mechanism by which they achieve such patterning has not yet been clearly established. In this report, we examine the mechanisms by which BMPs act on cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) that control localized expression of the Drosophila msh and zebrafish (Danio rerio) msxB in the dorsal central nervous system (CNS). Our analysis suggests that BMPs act differently in these organisms to regulate similar patterns of gene expression in the neuroectoderm: repressing msh expression in Drosophila, while activating msxB expression in the zebrafish. These findings suggest that the mechanisms by which the BMP gradient patterns the dorsal neuroectoderm have reversed since the divergence of these two ancient lineages.

  6. BMPs regulate msx gene expression in the dorsal neuroectoderm of Drosophila and vertebrates by distinct mechanisms.

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    Francisco F Esteves

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In a broad variety of bilaterian species the trunk central nervous system (CNS derives from three primary rows of neuroblasts. The fates of these neural progenitor cells are determined in part by three conserved transcription factors: vnd/nkx2.2, ind/gsh and msh/msx in Drosophila melanogaster/vertebrates, which are expressed in corresponding non-overlapping patterns along the dorsal-ventral axis. While this conserved suite of "neural identity" gene expression strongly suggests a common ancestral origin for the patterning systems, it is unclear whether the original regulatory mechanisms establishing these patterns have been similarly conserved during evolution. In Drosophila, genetic evidence suggests that Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs act in a dosage-dependent fashion to repress expression of neural identity genes. BMPs also play a dose-dependent role in patterning the dorsal and lateral regions of the vertebrate CNS, however, the mechanism by which they achieve such patterning has not yet been clearly established. In this report, we examine the mechanisms by which BMPs act on cis-regulatory modules (CRMs that control localized expression of the Drosophila msh and zebrafish (Danio rerio msxB in the dorsal central nervous system (CNS. Our analysis suggests that BMPs act differently in these organisms to regulate similar patterns of gene expression in the neuroectoderm: repressing msh expression in Drosophila, while activating msxB expression in the zebrafish. These findings suggest that the mechanisms by which the BMP gradient patterns the dorsal neuroectoderm have reversed since the divergence of these two ancient lineages.

  7. Comparative genomics of neuroglobin reveals its early origins.

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    Jasmin Dröge

    Full Text Available Neuroglobin (Ngb is a hexacoordinated globin expressed mainly in the central and peripheral nervous system of vertebrates. Although several hypotheses have been put forward regarding the role of neuroglobin, its definite function remains uncertain. Ngb appears to have a neuro-protective role enhancing cell viability under hypoxia and other types of oxidative stress. Ngb is phylogenetically ancient and has a substitution rate nearly four times lower than that of other vertebrate globins, e.g. hemoglobin. Despite its high sequence conservation among vertebrates Ngb seems to be elusive in invertebrates.We determined candidate orthologs in invertebrates and identified a globin of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens that is most likely orthologous to vertebrate Ngb and confirmed the orthologous relationship of the polymeric globin of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus to Ngb. The putative orthologous globin genes are located next to genes orthologous to vertebrate POMT2 similarly to localization of vertebrate Ngb. The shared syntenic position of the globins from Trichoplax, the sea urchin and of vertebrate Ngb strongly suggests that they are orthologous. A search for conserved transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs in the promoter regions of the Ngb genes of different vertebrates via phylogenetic footprinting revealed several TFBSs, which may contribute to the specific expression of Ngb, whereas a comparative analysis with myoglobin revealed several common TFBSs, suggestive of regulatory mechanisms common to globin genes.Identification of the placozoan and echinoderm genes orthologous to vertebrate neuroglobin strongly supports the hypothesis of the early evolutionary origin of this globin, as it shows that neuroglobin was already present in the placozoan-bilaterian last common ancestor. Computational determination of the transcription factor binding sites repertoire provides on the one hand a set of transcriptional factors that are

  8. Genome-wide analysis of the sox family in the calcareous sponge Sycon ciliatum: multiple genes with unique expression patterns

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    Fortunato Sofia

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sox genes are HMG-domain containing transcription factors with important roles in developmental processes in animals; many of them appear to have conserved functions among eumetazoans. Demosponges have fewer Sox genes than eumetazoans, but their roles remain unclear. The aim of this study is to gain insight into the early evolutionary history of the Sox gene family by identification and expression analysis of Sox genes in the calcareous sponge Sycon ciliatum. Methods Calcaronean Sox related sequences were retrieved by searching recently generated genomic and transcriptome sequence resources and analyzed using variety of phylogenetic methods and identification of conserved motifs. Expression was studied by whole mount in situ hybridization. Results We have identified seven Sox genes and four Sox-related genes in the complete genome of Sycon ciliatum. Phylogenetic and conserved motif analyses showed that five of Sycon Sox genes represent groups B, C, E, and F present in cnidarians and bilaterians. Two additional genes are classified as Sox genes but cannot be assigned to specific subfamilies, and four genes are more similar to Sox genes than to other HMG-containing genes. Thus, the repertoire of Sox genes is larger in this representative of calcareous sponges than in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica. It remains unclear whether this is due to the expansion of the gene family in Sycon or a secondary reduction in the Amphimedon genome. In situ hybridization of Sycon Sox genes revealed a variety of expression patterns during embryogenesis and in specific cell types of adult sponges. Conclusions In this study, we describe a large family of Sox genes in Sycon ciliatum with dynamic expression patterns, indicating that Sox genes are regulators in development and cell type determination in sponges, as observed in higher animals. The revealed differences between demosponge and calcisponge Sox genes repertoire highlight the need to

  9. Expression of the pair-rule gene homologs runt, Pax3/7, even-skipped-1 and even-skipped-2 during larval and juvenile development of the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta does not support a role in segmentation

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    Seaver Elaine C

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Annelids and arthropods each possess a segmented body. Whether this similarity represents an evolutionary convergence or inheritance from a common segmented ancestor is the subject of ongoing investigation. Methods To investigate whether annelids and arthropods share molecular components that control segmentation, we isolated orthologs of the Drosophila melanogaster pair-rule genes, runt, paired (Pax3/7 and eve, from the polychaete annelid Capitella teleta and used whole mount in situ hybridization to characterize their expression patterns. Results When segments first appear, expression of the single C. teleta runt ortholog is only detected in the brain. Later, Ct-runt is expressed in the ventral nerve cord, foregut and hindgut. Analysis of Pax genes in the C. teleta genome reveals the presence of a single Pax3/7 ortholog. Ct-Pax3/7 is initially detected in the mid-body prior to segmentation, but is restricted to two longitudinal bands in the ventral ectoderm. Each of the two C. teleta eve orthologs has a unique and complex expression pattern, although there is partial overlap in several tissues. Prior to and during segment formation, Ct-eve1 and Ct-eve2 are both expressed in the bilaterial pair of mesoteloblasts, while Ct-eve1 is expressed in the descendant mesodermal band cells. At later stages, Ct-eve2 is expressed in the central and peripheral nervous system, and in mesoderm along the dorsal midline. In late stage larvae and adults, Ct-eve1 and Ct-eve2 are expressed in the posterior growth zone. Conclusions C. teleta eve, Pax3/7 and runt homologs all have distinct expression patterns and share expression domains with homologs from other bilaterians. None of the pair-rule orthologs examined in C. teleta exhibit segmental or pair-rule stripes of expression in the ectoderm or mesoderm, consistent with an independent origin of segmentation between annelids and arthropods.

  10. Gene Expression Data from the Moon Jelly, Aurelia, Provide Insights into the Evolution of the Combinatorial Code Controlling Animal Sense Organ Development.

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    Nagayasu Nakanishi

    Full Text Available In Bilateria, Pax6, Six, Eya and Dach families of transcription factors underlie the development and evolution of morphologically and phyletically distinct eyes, including the compound eyes in Drosophila and the camera-type eyes in vertebrates, indicating that bilaterian eyes evolved under the strong influence of ancestral developmental gene regulation. However the conservation in eye developmental genetics deeper in the Eumetazoa, and the origin of the conserved gene regulatory apparatus controlling eye development remain unclear due to limited comparative developmental data from Cnidaria. Here we show in the eye-bearing scyphozoan cnidarian Aurelia that the ectodermal photosensory domain of the developing medusa sensory structure known as the rhopalium expresses sine oculis (so/six1/2 and eyes absent/eya, but not optix/six3/6 or pax (A&B. In addition, the so and eya co-expression domain encompasses the region of active cell proliferation, neurogenesis, and mechanoreceptor development in rhopalia. Consistent with the role of so and eya in rhopalial development, developmental transcriptome data across Aurelia life cycle stages show upregulation of so and eya, but not optix or pax (A&B, during medusa formation. Moreover, pax6 and dach are absent in the Aurelia genome, and thus are not required for eye development in Aurelia. Our data are consistent with so and eya, but not optix, pax or dach, having conserved functions in sensory structure specification across Eumetazoa. The lability of developmental components including Pax genes relative to so-eya is consistent with a model of sense organ development and evolution that involved the lineage specific modification of a combinatorial code that specifies animal sense organs.

  11. Saltatory Evolution of the Ectodermal Neural Cortex Gene Family at the Vertebrate Origin

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    Feiner, Nathalie; Murakami, Yasunori; Breithut, Lisa; Mazan, Sylvie; Meyer, Axel; Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2013-01-01

    The ectodermal neural cortex (ENC) gene family, whose members are implicated in neurogenesis, is part of the kelch repeat superfamily. To date, ENC genes have been identified only in osteichthyans, although other kelch repeat-containing genes are prevalent throughout bilaterians. The lack of elaborate molecular phylogenetic analysis with exhaustive taxon sampling has obscured the possible link of the establishment of this gene family with vertebrate novelties. In this study, we identified ENC homologs in diverse vertebrates by means of database mining and polymerase chain reaction screens. Our analysis revealed that the ENC3 ortholog was lost in the basal eutherian lineage through single-gene deletion and that the triplication between ENC1, -2, and -3 occurred early in vertebrate evolution. Including our original data on the catshark and the zebrafish, our comparison revealed high conservation of the pleiotropic expression pattern of ENC1 and shuffling of expression domains between ENC1, -2, and -3. Compared with many other gene families including developmental key regulators, the ENC gene family is unique in that conventional molecular phylogenetic inference could identify no obvious invertebrate ortholog. This suggests a composite nature of the vertebrate-specific gene repertoire, consisting not only of de novo genes introduced at the vertebrate origin but also of long-standing genes with no apparent invertebrate orthologs. Some of the latter, including the ENC gene family, may be too rapidly evolving to provide sufficient phylogenetic signals marking orthology to their invertebrate counterparts. Such gene families that experienced saltatory evolution likely remain to be explored and might also have contributed to phenotypic evolution of vertebrates. PMID:23843192

  12. The evolutionary history of vertebrate cranial placodes II. Evolution of ectodermal patterning.

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    Schlosser, Gerhard; Patthey, Cedric; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2014-05-01

    Cranial placodes are evolutionary innovations of vertebrates. However, they most likely evolved by redeployment, rewiring and diversification of preexisting cell types and patterning mechanisms. In the second part of this review we compare vertebrates with other animal groups to elucidate the evolutionary history of ectodermal patterning. We show that several transcription factors have ancient bilaterian roles in dorsoventral and anteroposterior regionalisation of the ectoderm. Evidence from amphioxus suggests that ancestral chordates then concentrated neurosecretory cells in the anteriormost non-neural ectoderm. This anterior proto-placodal domain subsequently gave rise to the oral siphon primordia in tunicates (with neurosecretory cells being lost) and anterior (adenohypophyseal, olfactory, and lens) placodes of vertebrates. Likewise, tunicate atrial siphon primordia and posterior (otic, lateral line, and epibranchial) placodes of vertebrates probably evolved from a posterior proto-placodal region in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. Since both siphon primordia in tunicates give rise to sparse populations of sensory cells, both proto-placodal domains probably also gave rise to some sensory receptors in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor. However, proper cranial placodes, which give rise to high density arrays of specialised sensory receptors and neurons, evolved from these domains only in the vertebrate lineage. We propose that this may have involved rewiring of the regulatory network upstream and downstream of Six1/2 and Six4/5 transcription factors and their Eya family cofactors. These proteins, which play ancient roles in neuronal differentiation were first recruited to the dorsal non-neural ectoderm in the tunicate-vertebrate ancestor but subsequently probably acquired new target genes in the vertebrate lineage, allowing them to adopt new functions in regulating proliferation and patterning of neuronal progenitors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  13. Wnt and TGF-beta expression in the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and the origin of metazoan embryonic patterning.

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    Maja Adamska

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The origin of metazoan development and differentiation was contingent upon the evolution of cell adhesion, communication and cooperation mechanisms. While components of many of the major cell signalling pathways have been identified in a range of sponges (phylum Porifera, their roles in development have not been investigated and remain largely unknown. Here, we take the first steps toward reconstructing the developmental signalling systems used in the last common ancestor to living sponges and eumetazoans by studying the expression of genes encoding Wnt and TGF-beta signalling ligands during the embryonic development of a sponge.Using resources generated in the recent sponge Amphimedon queenslandica (Demospongiae genome project, we have recovered genes encoding Wnt and TGF-beta signalling ligands that are critical in patterning metazoan embryos. Both genes are expressed from the earliest stages of Amphimedon embryonic development in highly dynamic patterns. At the time when the Amphimedon embryos begin to display anterior-posterior polarity, Wnt expression becomes localised to the posterior pole and this expression continues until the swimming larva stage. In contrast, TGF-beta expression is highest at the anterior pole. As in complex animals, sponge Wnt and TGF-beta expression patterns intersect later in development during the patterning of a sub-community of cells that form a simple tissue-like structure, the pigment ring. Throughout development, Wnt and TGF-beta are expressed radially along the anterior-posterior axis.We infer from the expression of Wnt and TGF-beta in Amphimedon that the ancestor that gave rise to sponges, cnidarians and bilaterians had already evolved the capacity to direct the formation of relatively sophisticated body plans, with axes and tissues. The radially symmetrical expression patterns of Wnt and TGF-beta along the anterior-posterior axis of sponge embryos and larvae suggest that these signalling pathways

  14. Chitinase family GH18: evolutionary insights from the genomic history of a diverse protein family

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    Aronson Nathan N

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chitinases (EC.3.2.1.14 hydrolyze the β-1,4-linkages in chitin, an abundant N-acetyl-β-D-glucosamine polysaccharide that is a structural component of protective biological matrices such as insect exoskeletons and fungal cell walls. The glycoside hydrolase 18 (GH18 family of chitinases is an ancient gene family widely expressed in archea, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Mammals are not known to synthesize chitin or metabolize it as a nutrient, yet the human genome encodes eight GH18 family members. Some GH18 proteins lack an essential catalytic glutamic acid and are likely to act as lectins rather than as enzymes. This study used comparative genomic analysis to address the evolutionary history of the GH18 multiprotein family, from early eukaryotes to mammals, in an effort to understand the forces that shaped the human genome content of chitinase related proteins. Results Gene duplication and loss according to a birth-and-death model of evolution is a feature of the evolutionary history of the GH18 family. The current human family likely originated from ancient genes present at the time of the bilaterian expansion (approx. 550 mya. The family expanded in the chitinous protostomes C. elegans and D. melanogaster, declined in early deuterostomes as chitin synthesis disappeared, and expanded again in late deuterostomes with a significant increase in gene number after the avian/mammalian split. Conclusion This comprehensive genomic study of animal GH18 proteins reveals three major phylogenetic groups in the family: chitobiases, chitinases/chitolectins, and stabilin-1 interacting chitolectins. Only the chitinase/chitolectin group is associated with expansion in late deuterostomes. Finding that the human GH18 gene family is closely linked to the human major histocompatibility complex paralogon on chromosome 1, together with the recent association of GH18 chitinase activity with Th2 cell inflammation, suggests that its late expansion

  15. The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties.

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    Albertin, Caroline B; Simakov, Oleg; Mitros, Therese; Wang, Z Yan; Pungor, Judit R; Edsinger-Gonzales, Eric; Brenner, Sydney; Ragsdale, Clifton W; Rokhsar, Daniel S

    2015-08-13

    Coleoid cephalopods (octopus, squid and cuttlefish) are active, resourceful predators with a rich behavioural repertoire. They have the largest nervous systems among the invertebrates and present other striking morphological innovations including camera-like eyes, prehensile arms, a highly derived early embryogenesis and a remarkably sophisticated adaptive colouration system. To investigate the molecular bases of cephalopod brain and body innovations, we sequenced the genome and multiple transcriptomes of the California two-spot octopus, Octopus bimaculoides. We found no evidence for hypothesized whole-genome duplications in the octopus lineage. The core developmental and neuronal gene repertoire of the octopus is broadly similar to that found across invertebrate bilaterians, except for massive expansions in two gene families previously thought to be uniquely enlarged in vertebrates: the protocadherins, which regulate neuronal development, and the C2H2 superfamily of zinc-finger transcription factors. Extensive messenger RNA editing generates transcript and protein diversity in genes involved in neural excitability, as previously described, as well as in genes participating in a broad range of other cellular functions. We identified hundreds of cephalopod-specific genes, many of which showed elevated expression levels in such specialized structures as the skin, the suckers and the nervous system. Finally, we found evidence for large-scale genomic rearrangements that are closely associated with transposable element expansions. Our analysis suggests that substantial expansion of a handful of gene families, along with extensive remodelling of genome linkage and repetitive content, played a critical role in the evolution of cephalopod morphological innovations, including their large and complex nervous systems.

  16. Amphioxus mouth after dorso-ventral inversion.

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    Kaji, Takao; Reimer, James D; Morov, Arseniy R; Kuratani, Shigeru; Yasui, Kinya

    2016-01-01

    Deuterostomes (animals with 'secondary mouths') are generally accepted to develop the mouth independently of the blastopore. However, it remains largely unknown whether mouths are homologous among all deuterostome groups. Unlike other bilaterians, in amphioxus the mouth initially opens on the left lateral side. This peculiar morphology has not been fully explained in the evolutionary developmental context. We studied the developmental process of the amphioxus mouth to understand whether amphioxus acquired a new mouth, and if so, how it is related to or differs from mouths in other deuterostomes. The left first somite in amphioxus produces a coelomic vesicle between the epidermis and pharynx that plays a crucial role in the mouth opening. The vesicle develops in association with the amphioxus-specific Hatschek nephridium, and first opens into the pharynx and then into the exterior as a mouth. This asymmetrical development of the anterior-most somites depends on the Nodal-Pitx signaling unit, and the perturbation of laterality-determining Nodal signaling led to the disappearance of the vesicle, producing a symmetric pair of anterior-most somites that resulted in larvae lacking orobranchial structures. The vesicle expressed bmp2/4, as seen in ambulacrarian coelomic pore-canals, and the mouth did not open when Bmp2/4 signaling was blocked. We conclude that the amphioxus mouth, which uniquely involves a mesodermal coelomic vesicle, shares its evolutionary origins with the ambulacrarian coelomic pore-canal. Our observations suggest that there are at least three types of mouths in deuterostomes, and that the new acquisition of chordate mouths was likely related to the dorso-ventral inversion that occurred in the last common ancestor of chordates.

  17. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

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    Nicholas R Polato

    considerable exposure to genotoxic stress over long life spans, and showed conservation of important physiological pathways between corals and bilaterians.

  18. Gene discovery in the threatened elkhorn coral: 454 sequencing of the Acropora palmata transcriptome.

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    Polato, Nicholas R; Vera, J Cristobal; Baums, Iliana B

    2011-01-01

    spans, and showed conservation of important physiological pathways between corals and bilaterians. © 2011 Polato et al.

  19. A Hox Gene, Antennapedia, Regulates Expression of Multiple Major Silk Protein Genes in the Silkworm Bombyx mori.

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    Tsubota, Takuya; Tomita, Shuichiro; Uchino, Keiro; Kimoto, Mai; Takiya, Shigeharu; Kajiwara, Hideyuki; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2016-03-25

    Hoxgenes play a pivotal role in the determination of anteroposterior axis specificity during bilaterian animal development. They do so by acting as a master control and regulating the expression of genes important for development. Recently, however, we showed that Hoxgenes can also function in terminally differentiated tissue of the lepidopteranBombyx mori In this species,Antennapedia(Antp) regulates expression of sericin-1, a major silk protein gene, in the silk gland. Here, we investigated whether Antpcan regulate expression of multiple genes in this tissue. By means of proteomic, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridization analyses, we demonstrate that misexpression of Antpin the posterior silk gland induced ectopic expression of major silk protein genes such assericin-3,fhxh4, and fhxh5 These genes are normally expressed specifically in the middle silk gland as is Antp Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests that Antpactivates these silk protein genes in the middle silk gland. The putativesericin-1 activator complex (middle silk gland-intermolt-specific complex) can bind to the upstream regions of these genes, suggesting that Antpdirectly activates their expression. We also found that the pattern of gene expression was well conserved between B. moriand the wild species Bombyx mandarina, indicating that the gene regulation mechanism identified here is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism and not an artifact of the domestication of B. mori We suggest that Hoxgenes have a role as a master control in terminally differentiated tissues, possibly acting as a primary regulator for a range of physiological processes. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. An efficient method to find potentially universal population genetic markers, applied to metazoans

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    Chenuil Anne

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Despite the impressive growth of sequence databases, the limited availability of nuclear markers that are sufficiently polymorphic for population genetics and phylogeography and applicable across various phyla restricts many potential studies, particularly in non-model organisms. Numerous introns have invariant positions among kingdoms, providing a potential source for such markers. Unfortunately, most of the few known EPIC (Exon Primed Intron Crossing loci are restricted to vertebrates or belong to multigenic families. Results In order to develop markers with broad applicability, we designed a bioinformatic approach aimed at avoiding multigenic families while identifying intron positions conserved across metazoan phyla. We developed a program facilitating the identification of EPIC loci which allowed slight variation in intron position. From the Homolens databases we selected 29 gene families which contained 52 promising introns for which we designed 93 primer pairs. PCR tests were performed on several ascidians, echinoderms, bivalves and cnidarians. On average, 24 different introns per genus were amplified in bilaterians. Remarkably, five of the introns successfully amplified in all of the metazoan genera tested (a dozen genera, including cnidarians. The influence of several factors on amplification success was investigated. Success rate was not related to the phylogenetic relatedness of a taxon to the groups that most influenced primer design, showing that these EPIC markers are extremely conserved in animals. Conclusions Our new method now makes it possible to (i rapidly isolate a set of EPIC markers for any phylum, even outside the animal kingdom, and thus, (ii compare genetic diversity at potentially homologous polymorphic loci between divergent taxa.

  1. The evolution of the dystroglycan complex, a major mediator of muscle integrity

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    Josephine C. Adams

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Basement membrane (BM extracellular matrices are crucial for the coordination of different tissue layers. A matrix adhesion receptor that is important for BM function and stability in many mammalian tissues is the dystroglycan (DG complex. This comprises the non-covalently-associated extracellular α-DG, that interacts with laminin in the BM, and the transmembrane β-DG, that interacts principally with dystrophin to connect to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in dystrophin, DG, or several enzymes that glycosylate α-DG underlie severe forms of human muscular dystrophy. Nonwithstanding the pathophysiological importance of the DG complex and its fundamental interest as a non-integrin system of cell-ECM adhesion, the evolution of DG and its interacting proteins is not understood. We analysed the phylogenetic distribution of DG, its proximal binding partners and key processing enzymes in extant metazoan and relevant outgroups. We identify that DG originated after the divergence of ctenophores from porifera and eumetazoa. The C-terminal half of the DG core protein is highly-conserved, yet the N-terminal region, that includes the laminin-binding region, has undergone major lineage-specific divergences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal IG2_MAT_NU region identified three distinct clades corresponding to deuterostomes, arthropods, and mollusks/early-diverging metazoans. Whereas the glycosyltransferases that modify α-DG are also present in choanoflagellates, the DG-binding proteins dystrophin and laminin originated at the base of the metazoa, and DG-associated sarcoglycan is restricted to cnidarians and bilaterians. These findings implicate extensive functional diversification of DG within invertebrate lineages and identify the laminin-DG-dystrophin axis as a conserved adhesion system that evolved subsequent to integrin-ECM adhesion, likely to enhance the functional complexity of cell-BM interactions in early metazoans.

  2. Rapid divergence of histones in Hydrozoa (Cnidaria) and evolution of a novel histone involved in DNA damage response in hydra.

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    Reddy, Puli Chandramouli; Ubhe, Suyog; Sirwani, Neha; Lohokare, Rasika; Galande, Sanjeev

    2017-08-01

    Histones are fundamental components of chromatin in all eukaryotes. Hydra, an emerging model system belonging to the basal metazoan phylum Cnidaria, provides an ideal platform to understand the evolution of core histone components at the base of eumetazoan phyla. Hydra exhibits peculiar properties such as tremendous regenerative capacity, lack of organismal senescence and rarity of malignancy. In light of the role of histone modifications and histone variants in these processes it is important to understand the nature of histones themselves and their variants in hydra. Here, we report identification of the complete repertoire of histone-coding genes in the Hydra magnipapillata genome. Hydra histones were classified based on their copy numbers, gene structure and other characteristic features. Genomic organization of canonical histone genes revealed the presence of H2A-H2B and H3-H4 paired clusters in high frequency and also a cluster with all core histones along with H1. Phylogenetic analysis of identified members of H2A and H2B histones suggested rapid expansion of these groups in Hydrozoa resulting in the appearance of unique subtypes. Amino acid sequence level comparisons of H2A and H2B forms with bilaterian counterparts suggest the possibility of a highly mobile nature of nucleosomes in hydra. Absolute quantitation of transcripts confirmed the high copy number of histones and supported the canonical nature of H2A. Furthermore, functional characterization of H2A.X.1 and a unique variant H2A.X.2 in the gastric region suggest their role in the maintenance of genome integrity and differentiation processes. These findings provide insights into the evolution of histones and their variants in hydra. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Immunolocalization of arthropsin in the onychophoran Euperipatoides rowelli (Peripatopsidae

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    Isabell Schumann

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Opsins are light-sensitive proteins that play a key role in animal vision and are related to the ancient photoreceptive molecule rhodopsin found in unicellular organisms. In general, opsins involved in vision comprise two major groups: the rhabdomeric (r-opsins and the ciliary opsins (c-opsins. The functionality of opsins, which is dependent on their protein structure, may have changed during evolution. In arthropods, typically r-opsins are responsible for vision, whereas in vertebrates c-opsins are components of visual photoreceptors. Recently, an enigmatic r-opsin-like protein called arthropsin has been identified in various bilaterian taxa, including arthropods, lophotrochozoans and chordates, by performing transcriptomic and genomic analyses. Since the role of arthropsin and its distribution within the body are unknown, we immunolocalized this protein in a representative of Onychophora – Euperipatoides rowelli – an ecdysozoan taxon which is regarded as one of the closest relatives of Arthropoda. Our data show that arthropsin is expressed in the central nervous system of E. rowelli, including the brain and the ventral nerve cords, but not in the eyes. These findings are consistent with previous results based on reverse transcription PCR in a closely related onychophoran species and suggest that arthropsin is a non-visual protein. Based on its distribution in the central brain region and the mushroom bodies, we speculate that the onychophoran arthropsin might be either a photosensitive molecule playing a role in the circadian clock, or a non-photosensitive protein involved in olfactory pathways, or both.

  4. A new stalked filter-feeder from the middle Cambrian Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada.

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    Lorna J O'Brien

    Full Text Available Burgess Shale-type deposits provide invaluable insights into the early evolution of body plans and the ecological structure of Cambrian communities, but a number of species, continue to defy phylogenetic interpretations. Here we extend this list to include a new soft-bodied animal, Siphusauctum gregarium n. gen. and n. sp., from the Tulip Beds (Campsite Cliff Shale Member, Burgess Shale Formation of Mount Stephen (Yoho National Park, British Columbia. With 1,133 specimens collected, S. gregarium is clearly the most abundant animal from this locality.This stalked animal (reaching at least 20 cm in length, has a large ovoid calyx connected to a narrow bilayered stem and a small flattened or bulb-like holdfast. The calyx is enclosed by a flexible sheath with six small openings at the base, and a central terminal anus near the top encircled by indistinct openings. A prominent organ, represented by six radially symmetrical segments with comb-like elements, surrounds an internal body cavity with a large stomach, conical median gut and straight intestine. Siphusauctum gregarium was probably an active filter-feeder, with water passing through the calyx openings, capturing food particles with its comb-like elements. It often occurs in large assemblages on single bedding planes suggesting a gregarious lifestyle, with the animal living in high tier clusters. These were probably buried en masse more or less in-situ by rapid mud flow events.Siphusauctum gregarium resembles Dinomischus, another Cambrian enigmatic stalked animal. Principal points of comparison include a long stem with a calyx containing a visceral mass and bract-like elements, and a similar lifestyle albeit occupying different tiering levels. The presence in both animals of a digestive tract with a potential stomach and anus suggest a grade of organization within bilaterians, but relationships with extant phyla are not straightforward. Thus, the broader affinities of S. gregarium remain

  5. The complete mitochondrial genome of Pseudocellus pearsei (Chelicerata: Ricinulei and a comparison of mitochondrial gene rearrangements in Arachnida

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    Braband Anke

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mitochondrial genomes are widely utilized for phylogenetic and population genetic analyses among animals. In addition to sequence data the mitochondrial gene order and RNA secondary structure data are used in phylogenetic analyses. Arachnid phylogeny is still highly debated and there is a lack of sufficient sequence data for many taxa. Ricinulei (hooded tickspiders are a morphologically distinct clade of arachnids with uncertain phylogenetic affinities. Results The first complete mitochondrial DNA genome of a member of the Ricinulei, Pseudocellus pearsei (Arachnida: Ricinulei was sequenced using a PCR-based approach. The mitochondrial genome is a typical circular duplex DNA molecule with a size of 15,099 bp, showing the complete set of genes usually present in bilaterian mitochondrial genomes. Five tRNA genes (trnW, trnY, trnN, trnL(CUN, trnV show different relative positions compared to other Chelicerata (e.g. Limulus polyphemus, Ixodes spp.. We propose that two events led to this derived gene order: (1 a tandem duplication followed by random deletion and (2 an independent translocation of trnN. Most of the inferred tRNA secondary structures show the common cloverleaf pattern except tRNA-Glu where the TψC-arm is missing. In phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, maximum parsimony, Bayesian inference using concatenated amino acid and nucleotide sequences of protein-coding genes the basal relationships of arachnid orders remain unresolved. Conclusion Phylogenetic analyses (ML, MP, BI of arachnid mitochondrial genomes fail to resolve interordinal relationships of Arachnida and remain in a preliminary stage because there is still a lack of mitogenomic data from important taxa such as Opiliones and Pseudoscorpiones. Gene order varies considerably within Arachnida – only eight out of 23 species have retained the putative arthropod ground pattern. Some gene order changes are valuable characters in phylogenetic analysis of

  6. Handedness of a motor program in C. elegans is independent of left-right body asymmetry.

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    Joanna C Downes

    Full Text Available Complex animals display bilaterally asymmetric motor behavior, or "motor handedness," often revealed by preferential use of limbs on one side. For example, use of right limbs is dominant in a strong majority of humans. While the mechanisms that establish bilateral asymmetry in motor function are unknown in humans, they appear to be distinct from those for other handedness asymmetries, including bilateral visceral organ asymmetry, brain laterality, and ocular dominance. We report here that a simple, genetically homogeneous animal comprised of only ~1000 somatic cells, the nematode C. elegans, also shows a distinct motor handedness preference: on a population basis, males show a pronounced right-hand turning bias during mating. The handedness bias persists through much of adult lifespan, suggesting that, as in more complex animals, it is an intrinsic trait of each individual, which can differ from the population mean. Our observations imply that the laterality of motor handedness preference in C. elegans is driven by epigenetic factors rather than by genetic variation. The preference for right-hand turns is also seen in animals with mirror-reversed anatomical handedness and is not attributable to stochastic asymmetric loss of male sensory rays that occurs by programmed cell death. As with C. elegans, we also observed a substantial handedness bias, though not necessarily the same preference in direction, in several gonochoristic Caenorhabditis species. These findings indicate that the independence of bilaterally asymmetric motor dominance from overall anatomical asymmetry, and a population-level tendency away from ambidexterity, occur even in simple invertebrates, suggesting that these may be common features of bilaterian metazoans.

  7. The First Myriapod Genome Sequence Reveals Conservative Arthropod Gene Content and Genome Organisation in the Centipede Strigamia maritima

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    Chipman, Ariel D.; Ferrier, David E. K.; Brena, Carlo; Qu, Jiaxin; Hughes, Daniel S. T.; Schröder, Reinhard; Torres-Oliva, Montserrat; Znassi, Nadia; Jiang, Huaiyang; Almeida, Francisca C.; Alonso, Claudio R.; Apostolou, Zivkos; Aqrawi, Peshtewani; Arthur, Wallace; Barna, Jennifer C. J.; Blankenburg, Kerstin P.; Brites, Daniela; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Coyle, Marcus; Dearden, Peter K.; Du Pasquier, Louis; Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Ebert, Dieter; Eibner, Cornelius; Erikson, Galina; Evans, Peter D.; Extavour, Cassandra G.; Francisco, Liezl; Gabaldón, Toni; Gillis, William J.; Goodwin-Horn, Elizabeth A.; Green, Jack E.; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J. P.; Gubbala, Sai; Guigó, Roderic; Han, Yi; Hauser, Frank; Havlak, Paul; Hayden, Luke; Helbing, Sophie; Holder, Michael; Hui, Jerome H. L.; Hunn, Julia P.; Hunnekuhl, Vera S.; Jackson, LaRonda; Javaid, Mehwish; Jhangiani, Shalini N.; Jiggins, Francis M.; Jones, Tamsin E.; Kaiser, Tobias S.; Kalra, Divya; Kenny, Nathan J.; Korchina, Viktoriya; Kovar, Christie L.; Kraus, F. Bernhard; Lapraz, François; Lee, Sandra L.; Lv, Jie; Mandapat, Christigale; Manning, Gerard; Mariotti, Marco; Mata, Robert; Mathew, Tittu; Neumann, Tobias; Newsham, Irene; Ngo, Dinh N.; Ninova, Maria; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Ongeri, Fiona; Palmer, William J.; Patil, Shobha; Patraquim, Pedro; Pham, Christopher; Pu, Ling-Ling; Putman, Nicholas H.; Rabouille, Catherine; Ramos, Olivia Mendivil; Rhodes, Adelaide C.; Robertson, Helen E.; Robertson, Hugh M.; Ronshaugen, Matthew; Rozas, Julio; Saada, Nehad; Sánchez-Gracia, Alejandro; Scherer, Steven E.; Schurko, Andrew M.; Siggens, Kenneth W.; Simmons, DeNard; Stief, Anna; Stolle, Eckart; Telford, Maximilian J.; Tessmar-Raible, Kristin; Thornton, Rebecca; van der Zee, Maurijn; von Haeseler, Arndt; Williams, James M.; Willis, Judith H.; Wu, Yuanqing; Zou, Xiaoyan; Lawson, Daniel; Muzny, Donna M.; Worley, Kim C.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Akam, Michael; Richards, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Myriapods (e.g., centipedes and millipedes) display a simple homonomous body plan relative to other arthropods. All members of the class are terrestrial, but they attained terrestriality independently of insects. Myriapoda is the only arthropod class not represented by a sequenced genome. We present an analysis of the genome of the centipede Strigamia maritima. It retains a compact genome that has undergone less gene loss and shuffling than previously sequenced arthropods, and many orthologues of genes conserved from the bilaterian ancestor that have been lost in insects. Our analysis locates many genes in conserved macro-synteny contexts, and many small-scale examples of gene clustering. We describe several examples where S. maritima shows different solutions from insects to similar problems. The insect olfactory receptor gene family is absent from S. maritima, and olfaction in air is likely effected by expansion of other receptor gene families. For some genes S. maritima has evolved paralogues to generate coding sequence diversity, where insects use alternate splicing. This is most striking for the Dscam gene, which in Drosophila generates more than 100,000 alternate splice forms, but in S. maritima is encoded by over 100 paralogues. We see an intriguing linkage between the absence of any known photosensory proteins in a blind organism and the additional absence of canonical circadian clock genes. The phylogenetic position of myriapods allows us to identify where in arthropod phylogeny several particular molecular mechanisms and traits emerged. For example, we conclude that juvenile hormone signalling evolved with the emergence of the exoskeleton in the arthropods and that RR-1 containing cuticle proteins evolved in the lineage leading to Mandibulata. We also identify when various gene expansions and losses occurred. The genome of S. maritima offers us a unique glimpse into the ancestral arthropod genome, while also displaying many adaptations to its specific

  8. Evidence for gill slits and a pharynx in Cambrian vetulicolians: implications for the early evolution of deuterostomes

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    Ou Qiang

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Vetulicolians are a group of Cambrian metazoans whose distinctive bodyplan continues to present a major phylogenetic challenge. Thus, we see vetulicolians assigned to groups as disparate as deuterostomes and ecdysozoans. This divergence of opinions revolves around a strikingly arthropod-like body, but one that also bears complex lateral structures on its anterior section interpreted as pharyngeal openings. Establishing the homology of these structures is central to resolving where vetulicolians sit in metazoan phylogeny. Results New material from the Chengjiang Lagerstätte helps to resolve this issue. Here, we demonstrate that these controversial structures comprise grooves with a series of openings. The latter are oval in shape and associated with a complex anatomy consistent with control of their opening and closure. Remains of what we interpret to be a musculature, combined with the capacity for the grooves to contract, indicate vetulicolians possessed a pumping mechanism that could process considerable volumes of seawater. Our observations suggest that food captured in the anterior cavity was transported to dorsal and ventral gutters, which then channeled material to the intestine. This arrangement appears to find no counterpart in any known fossil or extant arthropod (or any other ecdysozoan. Anterior lateral perforations, however, are diagnostic of deuterostomes. Conclusions If the evidence is against vetulicolians belonging to one or other group of ecdysozoan, then two phylogenetic options seem to remain. The first is that such features as vetulicolians possess are indicative of either a position among the bilaterians or deuterostomes but apart from the observation that they themselves form a distinctive and recognizable clade current evidence can permit no greater precision as to their phylogenetic placement. We argue that this is too pessimistic a view, and conclude that evidence points towards vetulicolians being

  9. Evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G protein families.

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    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Mustafa, Arshi; Almén, Markus Sällman; Fredriksson, Robert; Williams, Michael J; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2015-10-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins perform a crucial role as molecular switches controlling various cellular responses mediated by G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway. Recent data have shown that the vertebrate-like G protein families are found across metazoans and their closest unicellular relatives. However, an overall evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like G proteins, including gene family annotations and in particular mapping individual gene gain/loss events across diverse holozoan lineages is still incomplete. Here, with more expanded invertebrate taxon sampling, we have reconstructed phylogenetic trees for each of the G protein classes/families and provide a robust classification and hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G proteins. Our results further extend the evidence that the common ancestor (CA) of holozoans had at least five ancestral Gα genes corresponding to all major vertebrate Gα classes and contain a total of eight genes including two Gβ and one Gγ. Our results also indicate that the GNAI/O-like gene likely duplicated in the last CA of metazoans to give rise to GNAI- and GNAO-like genes, which are conserved across invertebrates. Moreover, homologs of GNB1-4 paralogon- and GNB5 family-like genes are found in most metazoans and that the unicellular holozoans encode two ancestral Gβ genes. Similarly, most bilaterian invertebrates encode two Gγ genes which include a representative of the GNG gene cluster and a putative homolog of GNG13. Interestingly, our results also revealed key evolutionary events such as the Drosophila melanogaster eye specific Gβ subunit that is found conserved in most arthropods and several previously unidentified species specific expansions within Gαi/o, Gαs, Gαq, Gα12/13 classes and the GNB1-4 paralogon. Also, we provide an overall proposed evolutionary scenario on the expansions of all G protein families in vertebrate tetraploidizations. Our robust classification/hierarchy is essential to further

  10. Identification and characterization of microRNAs in Clonorchis sinensis of human health significance

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    Yuan Zi-Guo

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Clonorchis sinensis is a zoonotic parasite causing clonorchiasis-associated human disease such as biliary calculi, cholecystitis, liver cirrhosis, and it is currently classified as carcinogenic to humans for cholangiocarcinoma. MicroRNAs (miRNAs are non-coding, regulating small RNA molecules which are essential for the complex life cycles of parasites and are involved in parasitic infections. To identify and characterize miRNAs expressed in adult C. sinensis residing chronically in the biliary tract, we developed an integrative approach combining deep sequencing and bioinformatic predictions with stem-loop real-time PCR analysis. Results Here we report the use of this approach to identify and clone 6 new and 62,512 conserved C. sinensis miRNAs which belonged to 284 families. There was strong bias on families, family members and sequence nucleotides in C. sinensis. Uracil was the dominant nucleotide, particularly at positions 1, 14 and 22, which were located approximately at the beginning, middle and end of conserved miRNAs. There was no significant "seed region" at the first and ninth positions which were commonly found in human, animals and plants. Categorization of conserved miRNAs indicated that miRNAs of C. sinensis were still innovated and concentrated along three branches of the phylogenetic tree leading to bilaterians, insects and coelomates. There were two miRNA strategies in C. sinensis for its parasitic life: keeping a large category of miRNA families of different animals and keeping stringent conserved seed regions with high active innovation in other places of miRNAs mainly in the middle and the end, which were perfect for the parasite to perform its complex life style and for host changes. Conclusions The present study represented the first large scale characterization of C. sinensis miRNAs, which have implications for understanding the complex biology of this zoonotic parasite, as well as miRNA studies of other

  11. Six3

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    Steinmetz Patrick RH

    2010-12-01

    lobes do not represent the tip of the neuraxis. These results support the hypothesis that the last common ancestor of annelids and arthropods already possessed neurosecretory centres in the most anterior region of the brain. In light of its broad evolutionary conservation in protostomes and, as previously shown, in deuterostomes, the six3-otx head patterning system may be universal to bilaterian animals.

  12. Evolutionary origin of type IV classical cadherins in arthropods.

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    Sasaki, Mizuki; Akiyama-Oda, Yasuko; Oda, Hiroki

    2017-06-17

    Classical cadherins are a metazoan-specific family of homophilic cell-cell adhesion molecules that regulate morphogenesis. Type I and type IV cadherins in this family function at adherens junctions in the major epithelial tissues of vertebrates and insects, respectively, but they have distinct, relatively simple domain organizations that are thought to have evolved by independent reductive changes from an ancestral type III cadherin, which is larger than derived paralogs and has a complicated domain organization. Although both type III and type IV cadherins have been identified in hexapods and branchiopods, the process by which the type IV cadherin evolved is still largely unclear. Through an analysis of arthropod genome sequences, we found that the only classical cadherin encoded in chelicerate genomes was the type III cadherin and that the two type III cadherin genes found in the spider Parasteatoda tepidariorum genome exhibited a complex yet ancestral exon-intron organization in arthropods. Genomic and transcriptomic data from branchiopod, copepod, isopod, amphipod, and decapod crustaceans led us to redefine the type IV cadherin category, which we separated into type IVa and type IVb, which displayed a similar domain organization, except type IVb cadherins have a larger number of extracellular cadherin (EC) domains than do type IVa cadherins (nine versus seven). We also showed that type IVa cadherin genes occurred in the hexapod, branchiopod, and copepod genomes whereas only type IVb cadherin genes were present in malacostracans. Furthermore, comparative characterization of the type IVb cadherins suggested that the presence of two extra EC domains in their N-terminal regions represented primitive characteristics. In addition, we identified an evolutionary loss of two highly conserved cysteine residues among the type IVa cadherins of insects. We provide a genomic perspective of the evolution of classical cadherins among bilaterians, with a focus on the Arthropoda

  13. Whole genome duplications and expansion of the vertebrate GATA transcription factor gene family

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    Bowerman Bruce

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background GATA transcription factors influence many developmental processes, including the specification of embryonic germ layers. The GATA gene family has significantly expanded in many animal lineages: whereas diverse cnidarians have only one GATA transcription factor, six GATA genes have been identified in many vertebrates, five in many insects, and eleven to thirteen in Caenorhabditis nematodes. All bilaterian animal genomes have at least one member each of two classes, GATA123 and GATA456. Results We have identified one GATA123 gene and one GATA456 gene from the genomic sequence of two invertebrate deuterostomes, a cephalochordate (Branchiostoma floridae and a hemichordate (Saccoglossus kowalevskii. We also have confirmed the presence of six GATA genes in all vertebrate genomes, as well as additional GATA genes in teleost fish. Analyses of conserved sequence motifs and of changes to the exon-intron structure, and molecular phylogenetic analyses of these deuterostome GATA genes support their origin from two ancestral deuterostome genes, one GATA 123 and one GATA456. Comparison of the conserved genomic organization across vertebrates identified eighteen paralogous gene families linked to multiple vertebrate GATA genes (GATA paralogons, providing the strongest evidence yet for expansion of vertebrate GATA gene families via genome duplication events. Conclusion From our analysis, we infer the evolutionary birth order and relationships among vertebrate GATA transcription factors, and define their expansion via multiple rounds of whole genome duplication events. As the genomes of four independent invertebrate deuterostome lineages contain single copy GATA123 and GATA456 genes, we infer that the 0R (pre-genome duplication invertebrate deuterostome ancestor also had two GATA genes, one of each class. Synteny analyses identify duplications of paralogous chromosomal regions (paralogons, from single ancestral vertebrate GATA123 and GATA456

  14. Insights into metazoan evolution from alvinella pompejana cDNAs

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    Thierry Jean-Claude

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alvinella pompejana is a representative of Annelids, a key phylum for evo-devo studies that is still poorly studied at the sequence level. A. pompejana inhabits deep-sea hydrothermal vents and is currently known as one of the most thermotolerant Eukaryotes in marine environments, withstanding the largest known chemical and thermal ranges (from 5 to 105°C. This tube-dwelling worm forms dense colonies on the surface of hydrothermal chimneys and can withstand long periods of hypo/anoxia and long phases of exposure to hydrogen sulphides. A. pompejana specifically inhabits chimney walls of hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise. To survive, Alvinella has developed numerous adaptations at the physiological and molecular levels, such as an increase in the thermostability of proteins and protein complexes. It represents an outstanding model organism for studying adaptation to harsh physicochemical conditions and for isolating stable macromolecules resistant to high temperatures. Results We have constructed four full length enriched cDNA libraries to investigate the biology and evolution of this intriguing animal. Analysis of more than 75,000 high quality reads led to the identification of 15,858 transcripts and 9,221 putative protein sequences. Our annotation reveals a good coverage of most animal pathways and networks with a prevalence of transcripts involved in oxidative stress resistance, detoxification, anti-bacterial defence, and heat shock protection. Alvinella proteins seem to show a slow evolutionary rate and a higher similarity with proteins from Vertebrates compared to proteins from Arthropods or Nematodes. Their composition shows enrichment in positively charged amino acids that might contribute to their thermostability. The gene content of Alvinella reveals that an important pool of genes previously considered to be specific to Deuterostomes were in fact already present in the last common ancestor of the Bilaterian

  15. Confocal analysis of nervous system architecture in direct-developing juveniles of Neanthes arenaceodentata (Annelida, Nereididae

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    Jacobs David K

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of Family Nereididae have complex neural morphology exemplary of errant polychaetes and are leading research models in the investigation of annelid nervous systems. However, few studies focus on the development of their nervous system morphology. Such data are particularly relevant today, as nereidids are the subjects of a growing body of "evo-devo" work concerning bilaterian nervous systems, and detailed knowledge of their developing neuroanatomy facilitates the interpretation of gene expression analyses. In addition, new data are needed to resolve discrepancies between classic studies of nereidid neuroanatomy. We present a neuroanatomical overview based on acetylated α-tubulin labeling and confocal microscopy for post-embryonic stages of Neanthes arenaceodentata, a direct-developing nereidid. Results At hatching (2-3 chaetigers, the nervous system has developed much of the complexity of the adult (large brain, circumesophageal connectives, nerve cords, segmental nerves, and the stomatogastric nervous system is partially formed. By the 5-chaetiger stage, the cephalic appendages and anal cirri are well innervated and have clear connections to the central nervous system. Within one week of hatching (9-chaetigers, cephalic sensory structures (e.g., nuchal organs, Langdon's organs and brain substructures (e.g., corpora pedunculata, stomatogastric ganglia are clearly differentiated. Additionally, the segmental-nerve architecture (including interconnections matches descriptions of other, adult nereidids, and the pharynx has developed longitudinal nerves, nerve rings, and ganglia. All central roots of the stomatogastric nervous system are distinguishable in 12-chaetiger juveniles. Evidence was also found for two previously undescribed peripheral nerve interconnections and aspects of parapodial muscle innervation. Conclusions N. arenaceodentata has apparently lost all essential trochophore characteristics typical of

  16. Comparative myoanatomy of Echinoderes (Kinorhyncha): a comprehensive investigation by CLSM and 3D reconstruction.

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    Herranz, María; Boyle, Michael J; Pardos, Fernando; Neves, Ricardo C

    2014-04-05

    Kinorhyncha is a clade of marine invertebrate meiofauna. Their body plan includes a retractable introvert bearing rings of cuticular spines, and a limbless trunk with distinct segmentation of nervous, muscular and epidermal organ systems. As derived members within the basal branch of Ecdysozoa, kinorhynchs may provide an important example of convergence on the evolution of segmentation within one of three bilaterian superclades. We describe the myoanatomy of Echinoderes, the most specious kinorhynch genus, and build upon historical studies of kinorhynch ultrastructure and gross morphology. This is the first multi-species comparison of a complete organ system by confocal microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction within Kinorhyncha. Myoanatomy of adult Echinoderes is composed of the following: Head with two mouth cone circular muscles, nine pairs of oral style muscles, ten introvert retractors, one introvert circular muscle, and fourteen introvert circular muscle retractors; Neck with one circular muscle; Trunk showing distinct pairs of ventral and dorsal muscles within segments 1-10, dorsoventral muscles within segments 3-10, diagonal muscles within segments 1-8, longitudinal fibers spanning segments 1-9, three pairs of terminal spine muscles, and one pair of male penile spine muscles; Gut showing a pharynx with ten alternating rings of radial and circular muscle fibers enclosed in a complex sheath of protractors and retractors, an orthogonal grid of longitudinal and circular fibers surrounding the intestine, and paired hindgut dilators. Myoanatomy is highly conserved between species of Echinoderes. Interspecific variation is observed in the arrangement and number of introvert fibers and the composition of pharyngeal muscles. Segmented trunk musculature facilitates the movements of articulated cuticular plates along the anterior-posterior axis. Intersegmental muscle fibers assist with dorsoventral and lateral trunk movements. Protractors, retractors and

  17. Different Principles of ADP-Ribose-Mediated Activation and Opposite Roles of the NUDT9 Homology Domain in the TRPM2 Orthologs of Man and Sea Anemone

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    Frank Kühn

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A decisive element in the human cation channel TRPM2 is a region in its cytosolic C-terminus named NUDT9H because of its homology to the NUDT9 enzyme, a pyrophosphatase degrading ADP-ribose (ADPR. In hTRPM2, however, the NUDT9H domain has lost its enzymatic activity but serves as a binding domain for ADPR. As consequence of binding, gating of the channel is initiated. Since ADPR is produced after oxidative DNA damage, hTRPM2 mediates Ca2+ influx in response to oxidative stress which may lead to cell death. In the genome of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis (nv, a preferred model organism for the evolution of key bilaterian features, a TRPM2 ortholog has been identified that contains a NUDT9H domain as well. Heterologous expression of nvTRPM2 in HEK-293 cells reveals a cation channel with many close similarities to the human counterpart. Most notably, nvTRPM2 is activated by ADPR, and Ca2+ is a co-agonist. However, the intramolecular mechanisms of ADPR gating as well as the role of NUDT9H are strikingly different in the two species. Whereas already subtle changes of NUDT9H abolish ADPR gating in hTRPM2, the region can be completely removed from nvTRPM2 without loss of responses to ADPR. An alternative ADPR binding site seems to be present but has not yet been characterized. The ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase (ADPRase function of nvNUDT9H has been preserved but can be abolished by numerous genetic manipulations. All these manipulations create channels that are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide which fails to induce channel activity in wild-type nvTRPM2. Therefore, the function of NUDT9H in nvTRPM2 is the degradation of ADPR, thereby reducing agonist concentration in the presence of oxidative stress. Thus, the two TRPM2 orthologs have evolved divergently but nevertheless gained analogous functional properties, i.e., gating by ADPR with Ca2+ as co-factor. Opposite roles are played by the respective NUDT9H domains, either binding of ADPR and mediating

  18. Developmental expression of “germline”- and “sex determination”-related genes in the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi

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    Adam M. Reitzel

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An essential developmental pathway in sexually reproducing animals is the specification of germ cells and the differentiation of mature gametes, sperm and oocytes. The “germline” genes vasa, nanos and piwi are commonly identified in primordial germ cells, suggesting a molecular signature for the germline throughout animals. However, these genes are also expressed in a diverse set of somatic stem cells throughout the animal kingdom leaving open significant questions for whether they are required for germline specification. Similarly, members of the Dmrt gene family are essential components regulating sex determination and differentiation in bilaterian animals, but the functions of these transcription factors, including potential roles in sex determination, in early diverging animals remain unknown. The phylogenetic position of ctenophores and the genome sequence of the lobate Mnemiopsis leidyi motivated us to determine the compliment of these gene families in this species and determine expression patterns during development. Results Our phylogenetic analyses of the vasa, piwi and nanos gene families show that Mnemiopsis has multiple genes in each family with multiple lineage-specific paralogs. Expression domains of Mnemiopsis nanos, vasa and piwi, during embryogenesis from fertilization to the cydippid stage, were diverse, with little overlapping expression and no or little expression in what we think are the germ cells or gametogenic regions. piwi paralogs in Mnemiopsis had distinct expression domains in the ectoderm during development. We observed overlapping expression domains in the apical organ and tentacle apparatus of the cydippid for a subset of “germline genes,” which are areas of high cell proliferation, suggesting that these genes are involved with “stem cell” specification and maintenance. Similarly, the five Dmrt genes show diverse non-overlapping expression domains, with no clear evidence for

  19. Developmental expression of "germline"- and "sex determination"-related genes in the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi.

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    Reitzel, Adam M; Pang, Kevin; Martindale, Mark Q

    2016-01-01

    An essential developmental pathway in sexually reproducing animals is the specification of germ cells and the differentiation of mature gametes, sperm and oocytes. The "germline" genes vasa, nanos and piwi are commonly identified in primordial germ cells, suggesting a molecular signature for the germline throughout animals. However, these genes are also expressed in a diverse set of somatic stem cells throughout the animal kingdom leaving open significant questions for whether they are required for germline specification. Similarly, members of the Dmrt gene family are essential components regulating sex determination and differentiation in bilaterian animals, but the functions of these transcription factors, including potential roles in sex determination, in early diverging animals remain unknown. The phylogenetic position of ctenophores and the genome sequence of the lobate Mnemiopsis leidyi motivated us to determine the compliment of these gene families in this species and determine expression patterns during development. Our phylogenetic analyses of the vasa, piwi and nanos gene families show that Mnemiopsis has multiple genes in each family with multiple lineage-specific paralogs. Expression domains of Mnemiopsis nanos, vasa and piwi, during embryogenesis from fertilization to the cydippid stage, were diverse, with little overlapping expression and no or little expression in what we think are the germ cells or gametogenic regions. piwi paralogs in Mnemiopsis had distinct expression domains in the ectoderm during development. We observed overlapping expression domains in the apical organ and tentacle apparatus of the cydippid for a subset of "germline genes," which are areas of high cell proliferation, suggesting that these genes are involved with "stem cell" specification and maintenance. Similarly, the five Dmrt genes show diverse non-overlapping expression domains, with no clear evidence for expression in future gametogenic regions of the adult. We also