Cnidarian homeoboxes and the zootype

Abstract

In a widely cited paper1, Slack et al. proposed that all animal phyla shared a particular pattern of gene expression, the “zootype”. The zootype hypothesis implies that at least six HOX-type homeobox-containing genes should be present in all metazoa. We have done a series of phylogenetic analyses which indicate that Cnidaria, thought to be the earliest-evolving animal phylum with the exception of the sponges2, lack several HOX genes that are present in Drosophila and vertebrates. Instead, these genes may have arisen by duplication after the origin of the Cnidaria.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: HOX gene cluster present in the common ancestor of all metazoans according to the zootype hypothesis, and HOX gene cluster present in the common ancestor of cnidarians and triploblasts according to our results, with Drosophila shown for comparison.

References

  1. 1

    Slack, J. M. W., Holland, P. W. H. & Graham, C. F. Nature 361, 490–492 (1993).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Schram, F. R. & Ellis, W. N. Cladistics 10, 331–337 (1994).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Swofford, D. L. PAUP: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony, Version 3.1.1 (Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois, 1993).

  4. 4

    Naito, M., Ishiguro, H., Fujisawa, T. & Kurosawa, Y. FEBS Lett. 333, 271–274 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Schummer, M., Scheurlen, I., Schaller, C. & Galliot, B. EMBO J. 11, 1815–1823 (1992).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Shenk, M. A., Bode, H. R. & Steele, R. E. Development 117, 657–667 (1993).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Aerne, B. L., Baader, C. D. & Schmid, V. Dev. Biol. 169, 547–556 (1995).

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Kuhn, K., Streit, B. & Schierwater, B. Mol. Phyl. Evol. 6, 30–38 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Zhang, J. & Nei, M. Genetics 142, 295–303 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Agosti, D., Jacobs, D. & Desalle, R. Cladistics 12, 65–82 (1996).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Martínez, D., Bridge, D., Masuda-Nakagawa, L. et al. Cnidarian homeoboxes and the zootype. Nature 393, 748–749 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1038/31616

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.