Developmental gene expression provides clues to relationships between sponge and eumetazoan body plans
Elucidation of macroevolutionary transitions between diverse animal body plans remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. We address the sponge-eumetazoan transition by analyzing expression of a broad range of eumetazoan developmental regulatory genes in Sycon ciliatum (Calcispongiae). Here we show that many members of surprisingly numerous Wnt and Tgfi 2 gene families are expressed higher or uniquely in the adult apical end and the larval posterior end. Genes involved in formation of...[Show more]
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