The origin and evolution of segmentation

Trends Cell Biol. 1999 Dec;9(12):M68-72.


Arthropods, annelids and chordates all possess segments. It remains unclear, however, whether the segments of these animals evolved independently or instead were derived from a common ancestor. Considering this question involves examining not only the similarities and differences in the process of segmentation between these phyla, but also how this process varies within phyla, where the homology of segments is generally accepted. This article reviews what is known about the segmentation process and considers various proposals to explain its evolution.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Body Patterning*
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum
  • Phylogeny