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J Exp Zool. 1999 Apr 15;285(1):57-62.

Colony integration and the expression of the Hox gene, Cnox-2, in Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus (Cnidaria: Hydrozoa).

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Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The stolonal mat is an anatomical feature correlated with increased colonial integration in several lineages of the cnidarian class Hydrozoa. Cnox-2 is a Hox gene known to be expressed in the body column of the cnidarian polyp. We report the pattern of Cnox-2 expression in both the stolonal mat and free stolons of the hydroid Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus. The gene is found to have high levels of expression in the mat similar to that found in the basal portion of the polyp, but it is not detectably expressed in those regions of free stolons where polyps are budded. These findings suggest that the stolonal mat arose via an expansion of the basal ectoderm of the polyp.

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