Modularity of gene-regulatory networks revealed in sea-star development
1Centre for Marine Science, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane 4072, Australia
BMC Biology 2011, 9:6 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-6Published: 31 January 2011
Evidence that conserved developmental gene-regulatory networks can change as a unit during deutersostome evolution emerges from a study published in BMC Biology. This shows that genes consistently expressed in anterior brain patterning in hemichordates and chordates are expressed in a similar spatial pattern in another deuterostome, an asteroid echinoderm (sea star), but in a completely different developmental context (the animal-vegetal axis). This observation has implications for hypotheses on the type of development present in the deuterostome common ancestor.
See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/143/abstract webcite