Jan 18, 2011

What sponges can tell us about the evolution of developmental processes

Zoology : Analysis of Complex Systems, ZACS
Maja AdamskaChristin Zwafink


Sponges are one of the simplest, and probably the oldest (earliest branching) multicellular lineage of extant animals. Although their embryonic development has been intensively studied in the late 19th and early 20th century, they have been mostly neglected by modern developmental biology. Recent interest in the evolution of development, aided by advances in sequencing technology, has brought the sponges back into the spotlight. It is known that the developmental toolkit of sponges includes signalling pathways, transcription factors and cell adhesion molecules that are employed during development of more complex animals (i.e. bilaterians). We are now beginning to understand how these conserved regulatory genes are used during the development of sponges. Methodological resources are now being developed for model species representing all major sponge lineages, potentially allowing us to gain insight into the evolutionary origin of animal developmental mechanisms.

  • References79
  • Citations23


  • References79
  • Citations23


Mentioned in this Paper

Establishment and Maintenance of Localization
Biochemical Pathway
Conserved Sequence
Cell Movement
Transforming Growth Factor beta

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