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The Trichoplax Genome and the Nature of Placozoans

Description: Placozoans are arguably the simplest free-living animals, possibly evoking an early stage in metazoan evolution, yet their biology is poorly understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the {approx}98 million base pair nuclear genome of the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. Whole genome phylogenetic analysis suggests that placozoans belong to a 'eumetazoan' clade that includes cnidarians and bilaterians, with sponges as the earliest diverging animals. The compact genome exhibits conserved gene content, gene structure, and synteny relative to the human and other complex eumetazoan genomes. Despite the apparent cellular and organismal simplicity of Trichoplax, its genome encodes a rich array of transcription factor and signaling pathway genes that are typically associated with diverse cell types and developmental processes in eumetazoans, motivating further searches for cryptic cellular complexity and/or as yet unobserved life history stages.
Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Srivastava, Mansi; Begovic, Emina; Chapman, Jarrod; Putnam, Nicholas H.; Hellsten, Uffe; Kawashima, Takeshi et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity

Description: Sponges are an ancient group of animals that diverged from other metazoans over 600 million years ago. Here we present the draft genome sequence of Amphimedon queenslandica, a demosponge from the Great Barrier Reef, and show that it is remarkably similar to other animal genomes in content, structure and organization. Comparative analysis enabled by the sponge sequence reveals genomic events linked to the origin and early evolution of animals, including the appearance, expansion, and diversification of pan-metazoan transcription factor, signaling pathway, and structural genes. This diverse 'toolkit' of genes correlates with critical aspects of all metazoan body plans, and comprises cell cycle control and growth, development, somatic and germ cell specification, cell adhesion, innate immunity, and allorecognition. Notably, many of the genes associated with the emergence of animals are also implicated in cancer, which arises from defects in basic processes associated with metazoan multicellularity.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Srivastava, Mansi; Simakov, Oleg; Chapman, Jarrod; Fahey, Bryony; Gauthier, Marie E.A.; Mitros, Therese et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The amphioxus genome and the evolution of the chordate karyotype

Description: Lancelets ('amphioxus') are the modern survivors of an ancient chordate lineage with a fossil record dating back to the Cambrian. We describe the structure and gene content of the highly polymorphic {approx}520 million base pair genome of the Florida lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, and analyze it in the context of chordate evolution. Whole genome comparisons illuminate the murky relationships among the three chordate groups (tunicates, lancelets, and vertebrates), and allow reconstruction of not only the gene complement of the last common chordate ancestor, but also a partial reconstruction of its genomic organization, as well as a description of two genome-wide duplications and subsequent reorganizations in the vertebrate lineage. These genome-scale events shaped the vertebrate genome and provided additional genetic variation for exploitation during vertebrate evolution.
Date: April 1, 2008
Creator: Putnam, Nicholas H.; Butts, Thomas; Ferrier, David E.K.; Furlong, Rebecca F.; Hellsten, Uffe; Kawashima, Takeshi et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Genome of the Western Clawed Frog Xenopus tropicalis

Description: The western clawed frog Xenopus tropicalis is an important model for vertebrate development that combines experimental advantages of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis with more tractable genetics. Here we present a draft genome sequence assembly of X. tropicalis. This genome encodes over 20,000 protein-coding genes, including orthologs of at least 1,700 human disease genes. Over a million expressed sequence tags validated the annotation. More than one-third of the genome consists of transposable elements, with unusually prevalent DNA transposons. Like other tetrapods, the genome contains gene deserts enriched for conserved non-coding elements. The genome exhibits remarkable shared synteny with human and chicken over major parts of large chromosomes, broken by lineage-specific chromosome fusions and fissions, mainly in the mammalian lineage.
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Hellsten, Uffe; Harland, Richard M.; Gilchrist, Michael J.; Hendrix, David; Jurka, Jerzy; Kapitonov, Vladimir et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department