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Zool Res. 2016 Sep 18;37(5):263-9. doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2016.5.263.

Lamprey: a model for vertebrate evolutionary research.

Author information

1
College of Life Science, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian Liaoning 116081, China;Lamprey Research Center, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian Liaoning 116081, China.
2
College of Life Science, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian Liaoning 116081, China;Lamprey Research Center, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian Liaoning 116081, China. liqw@lnnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

Lampreys belong to the superclass Cyclostomata and represent the most ancient group of vertebrates. Existing for over 360 million years, they are known as living fossils due to their many evolutionally conserved features. They are not only a keystone species for studying the origin and evolution of vertebrates, but also one of the best models for researching vertebrate embryonic development and organ differentiation. From the perspective of genetic information, the lamprey genome remains primitive compared with that of other higher vertebrates, and possesses abundant functional genes. Through scientific and technological progress, scientists have conducted in-depth studies on the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems of lampreys. Such research has significance for understanding and revealing the origin and evolution of vertebrates, and could contribute to a greater understanding of human diseases and treatments. This review presents the current progress and significance of lamprey research.

KEYWORDS:

Endocrine; Functional gene; Immune; Lamprey; Nerve

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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