Conserved and divergent genes in apex and axis development of cnidarians.

  • publication
  • 23-11-2000

Galliot B. Curr. Opin. Genet. Dev. 2000 Dec;10(6):629-37. S0959-437X(00)00141-6.

Despite their radial organization and their sister group position in the life tree, cnidarian species express during morphogenesis a large number of genes that are related to bilaterian developmental genes. Among those, homologs to forkhead, emx, aristaless, goosecoid, brachyury, wnt and nanos genes are regulated during apical patterning in cnidarians, suggesting that key components of early organizer activity were conserved across evolution and recruited for either anterior, axial, or dorso-ventral patterning in bilaterians. In contrast, the expression patterns of the cnidarian Hox-related genes suggest that the apical-basal axis of the cnidarian polyp and the anterior-posterior axis of bilaterians do not differentiate following homologous processes.

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