Modularity of gene-regulatory networks revealed in sea-star development

Carmel McDougall, Bernard M Degnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence that conserved developmental gene-regulatory networks can change as a unit during deutersostome evolution emerges from a study published in BMC Biology. This shows that genes consistently expressed in anterior brain patterning in hemichordates and chordates are expressed in a similar spatial pattern in another deuterostome, an asteroid echinoderm (sea star), but in a completely different developmental context (the animal-vegetal axis). This observation has implications for hypotheses on the type of development present in the deuterostome common ancestor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6
JournalBMC Biology
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2011


  • Animals
  • Asterina/embryology
  • Biological Evolution
  • Body Patterning
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Phylogeny


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