A simple plan: cnidarians and the origins of developmental mechanisms

Ball, Eldon E., Hayward, David C., Saint, Robert, and Miller, David J. (2004) A simple plan: cnidarians and the origins of developmental mechanisms. Nature Reviews: Genetics, 5 (8). pp. 567-577.

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Comparisons with cnidarians, long considered to be ‘simple’ animals, are providing crucial insights into the origins of conserved developmental mechanisms and the nature of the common metazoan ancestor. Traditionally, an extra germ layer and a second axis of body symmetry are the features that distinguish ‘higher’ Metazoa from lower animals such as cnidarians. Moreover, it was expected that ‘lower’ animals would have a simple gene set that corresponds to their simple morphology. Now, molecular genetic approaches are blurring the developmental divide between cnidarians and bilateral animals, and cnidarian sequencing projects are showing that the common metazoan ancestor was more genetically complex than was previously assumed.

Item ID: 1484
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-0064
Keywords: cnidarians, ancestral origins, metazoa, genetics
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2007
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060403 Developmental Genetics (incl Sex Determination) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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