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The Capsaspora genome reveals a complex unicellular prehistory of animals

Suga, Hiroshi, Chen, Zehua, de Mendoza, Alex, Sebé-Pedrós, Arnau, Brown, Matthew W., Kramer, Eric, Carr, Martin, Kerner, Pierre, Vervoort, Michel, Sánchez-Pons, Núria, Torruella, Guifré, Derelle, Romain, Manning, Gerard, Lang, B. Franz, Russ, Carsten, Haas, Brian J., Roger, Andrew J., Nusbaum, Chad and Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki (2013) The Capsaspora genome reveals a complex unicellular prehistory of animals. Nature Communications, 4. pp. 1-9. ISSN 2041-1723

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Abstract

To reconstruct the evolutionary origin of multicellular animals from their unicellular ancestors, the genome sequences of diverse unicellular relatives are essential. However, only the genome of the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis has been reported to date. Here we completely sequence the genome of the filasterean Capsaspora owczarzaki, the closest known unicellular relative of metazoans besides choanoflagellates. Analyses of this genome alter our understanding of the molecular complexity of metazoans’ unicellular ancestors showing that they had a richer repertoire of proteins involved in cell adhesion and transcriptional regulation than previously inferred only with the choanoflagellate genome. Some of these proteins were secondarily lost in choanoflagellates. In contrast, most intercellular signalling systems controlling development evolved later concomitant with the emergence of the first metazoans. We propose that the acquisition of these metazoan-specific developmental systems and the co-option of pre-existing genes drove the evolutionary transition from unicellular protists to metazoans.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Schools: School of Applied Sciences
School of Applied Sciences > Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2013 15:20
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2016 12:56
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/18143

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