The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans

Levin, Michal, Anavy, Leon, Cole, Alison G., Winter, Eitan, Mostov, Natalia, Khair, Sally, Senderovich, Naftalie, Kovalev, Ekaterina, Silver, David H., Feder, Martin, Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L., Nakanishi, Nagayasu, Simmons, David, Simakov, Oleg, Larsson, Tomas, Liu, Shang-Yun, Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet, Yaniv, Karina, Ryan, Joseph F., Martindale, Mark Q., Rink, Jochen C., Arendt, Detlev, Degnan, Sandie M., Degnan, Bernard M., Hashimshony, Tamar and Yanai, Itai (2016) The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans. Nature, 531 7596: 637-+. doi:10.1038/nature16994

Author Levin, Michal
Anavy, Leon
Cole, Alison G.
Winter, Eitan
Mostov, Natalia
Khair, Sally
Senderovich, Naftalie
Kovalev, Ekaterina
Silver, David H.
Feder, Martin
Fernandez-Valverde, Selene L.
Nakanishi, Nagayasu
Simmons, David
Simakov, Oleg
Larsson, Tomas
Liu, Shang-Yun
Jerafi-Vider, Ayelet
Yaniv, Karina
Ryan, Joseph F.
Martindale, Mark Q.
Rink, Jochen C.
Arendt, Detlev
Degnan, Sandie M.
Degnan, Bernard M.
Hashimshony, Tamar
Yanai, Itai
Title The mid-developmental transition and the evolution of animal body plans
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2016-03-31
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature16994
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 531
Issue 7596
Start page 637
End page +
Total pages 18
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Animals are grouped into ~35 ‘phyla’ based upon the notion of distinct body plans. Morphological and molecular analyses have revealed that a stage in the middle of development—known as the phylotypic period—is conserved among species within some phyla. Although these analyses provide evidence for their existence, phyla have also been criticized as lacking an objective definition, and consequently based on arbitrary groupings of animals. Here we compare the developmental transcriptomes of ten species, each annotated to a different phylum, with a wide range of life histories and embryonic forms. We find that in all ten species, development comprises the coupling of early and late phases of conserved gene expression. These phases are linked by a divergent ‘mid-developmental transition’ that uses species-specific suites of signalling pathways and transcription factors. This mid-developmental transition overlaps with the phylotypic period that has been defined previously for three of the ten phyla, suggesting that transcriptional circuits and signalling mechanisms active during this transition are crucial for defining the phyletic body plan and that the mid-developmental transition may be used to define phylotypic periods in other phyla. Placing these observations alongside the reported conservation of mid-development within phyla, we propose that a phylum may be defined as a collection of species whose gene expression at the mid-developmental transition is both highly conserved among them, yet divergent relative to other species.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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