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Trends Genet. 2005 Dec;21(12):633-9. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

Maintenance of ancestral complexity and non-metazoan genes in two basal cnidarians.

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Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, University of Bergen, Thormøhlensgt 55, 5008 Bergen, Norway.


Cnidarians are among the simplest extant animals; however EST analyses reveal that they have a remarkably high level of genetic complexity. In this article, we show that the full diversity of metazoan signaling pathways is represented in this phylum, as are antagonists previously known only in chordates. Many of the cnidarian ESTs match genes previously known only in non-animal kingdoms. At least some of these represent ancient genes lost by all bilaterians examined so far, rather than genes gained by recent lateral gene transfer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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