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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 4;6:34664. doi: 10.1038/srep34664.

High expression of new genes in trochophore enlightening the ontogeny and evolution of trochozoans.

Xu F1,2,3, Domazet-Lošo T4,5, Fan D6, Dunwell TL7, Li L1,2,3, Fang X6, Zhang G1,2,3.

Author information

Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China.
Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266071, China.
National &Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Ecological Mariculture, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China.
Laboratory of Evolutionary Genetics, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, P.P. 180, HR-10002, Zagreb, Croatia.
Catholic university of Croatia, Ilica 242, HR-10000, Zagreb, Croatia.
BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083, China.
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK.


Animals with trochophore larvae belong to Trochozoa, one of the main branches of Bilateria. In addition to exhibiting spiral cleavage and early cell fate determination, trochozoans typically undergo indirect development, which contributes to the most unique characteristics of their ontogeny. The indirect development of trochozoans has provoked discussion regarding the origin and evolution of marine larvae and is interesting from the perspective of phylogeny-ontogeny correspondence. While these phylo-onto correlations have an hourglass shape in Deuterostomia, Ecdysozoa, plants and even fungi, they have seldom been studied in Trochozoa, and even Lophotrochozoa. Here, we compared the ontogenetic transcriptomes of the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas (Bivalvia, Mollusca), the Pacific abalone, Haliotis discus hannai (Gastropoda, Mollusca), and the sand worm Perinereis aibuhitensis (Polychaeta, Annelida) using several complementary phylotranscriptomic methods to examine their evolutionary trajectories. The results revealed the late trochophore stage as the phylotypic phase. However, this basic pattern is accompanied with increased use of new genes in the trochophore stages which marks specific adaptations of the larval body plans.

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