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Curr Biol. 2001 May 15;11(10):759-63.

Hox genes and the phylogeny of the arthropods.

Author information

1
University Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, CB2 3EJ, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ccook@phillips.exeter.edu

Abstract

The arthropods are the most speciose, and among the most morphologically diverse, of the animal phyla. Their evolution has been the subject of intense research for well over a century, yet the relationships among the four extant arthropod subphyla - chelicerates, crustaceans, hexapods, and myriapods - are still not fully resolved. Morphological taxonomies have often placed hexapods and myriapods together (the Atelocerata) [1, 2], but recent molecular studies have generally supported a hexapod/crustacean clade [2-9]. A cluster of regulatory genes, the Hox genes, control segment identity in arthropods, and comparisons of the sequences and functions of Hox genes can reveal evolutionary relationships [10]. We used Hox gene sequences from a range of arthropod taxa, including new data from a basal hexapod and a myriapod, to estimate a phylogeny of the arthropods. Our data support the hypothesis that insects and crustaceans form a single clade within the arthropods to the exclusion of myriapods. They also suggest that myriapods are more closely allied to the chelicerates than to this insect/crustacean clade.

PMID:
11378385
DOI:
10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00222-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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