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Dev Genes Evol. 2006 Dec;216(12):821-8. Epub 2006 Sep 16.

The expression of a hunchback ortholog in the polychaete annelid Platynereis dumerilii suggests an ancestral role in mesoderm development and neurogenesis.

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  • 1Laboratoire Evolution et Développement des protostomiens, Centre de Génétique Moléculaire-CNRS UPR 2167, 1 avenue de la terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France.

Abstract

Orthologs of the Drosophila gap gene hunchback have been isolated so far only in protostomes. Phylogenetic analysis of recently available genomic data allowed us to confirm that hunchback genes are widely found in protostomes (both lophotrochozoans and ecdysozoans). In contrast, no unequivocal hunchback gene can be found in the genomes of deuterostomes and non-bilaterians. We cloned hunchback in the marine polychaete annelid Platynereis dumerilii and analysed its expression during development. In this species, hunchback displays an expression pattern indicative of a role in mesoderm formation and neurogenesis, and similar to the expression found for hunchback genes in arthropods. These data suggest altogether that these functions are ancestral to protostomes.

PMID:
16983541
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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