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Tunicates push the limits of animal evo-devo

David EK Ferrier

Author affiliations

The Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, East Sands, St Andrews, KY16 8LB, UK

Citation and License

BMC Biology 2011, 9:3  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-3

Published: 20 January 2011


The phylum to which humans belong, Chordata, takes its name from one of the major shared derived features of the group, the notochord. All chordates have a notochord, at least during embryogenesis, and there is little doubt about notochord homology at the morphological level. A study in BMC Evolutionary Biology now shows that there is greater variability in the molecular genetics underlying notochord development than previously appreciated.

See research article: webcite