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Nature. 2015 Apr 23;520(7548):456-65. doi: 10.1038/nature14434.

The deuterostome context of chordate origins.

Author information

1
Hopkins Marine Station, Department of Biology, Stanford University, 120 Oceanview Boulevard, Pacific Grove, California 93950, USA.
2
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder Ramaley N122 Campus Box 334 Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334, USA.
3
1] Department of Molecular and Cell Biology University of California, Berkeley 142 Life Sciences Addition 3200 Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA. [2] Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology 1919-1 Tancha, Onna, Okinawa Prefecture 904-0495, Japan. [3] Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute 2800 Mitchell Drive Walnut Creek, California 94598, USA.
4
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology University of California, Berkeley 142 Life Sciences Addition 3200 Berkeley, California 94720-3200, USA.

Abstract

Our understanding of vertebrate origins is powerfully informed by comparative morphology, embryology and genomics of chordates, hemichordates and echinoderms, which together make up the deuterostome clade. Striking body-plan differences among these phyla have historically hindered the identification of ancestral morphological features, but recent progress in molecular genetics and embryology has revealed deep similarities in body-axis formation and organization across deuterostomes, at stages before morphological differences develop. These developmental genetic features, along with robust support of pharyngeal gill slits as a shared deuterostome character, provide the foundation for the emergence of chordates.

PMID:
25903627
DOI:
10.1038/nature14434
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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