Origin of anterior patterning. How old is our head?

Trends Genet. 2000 Jan;16(1):1-5. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(99)01888-0.


Most animals that display a bilateral symmetry (bilaterians) share homologous regulatory genes involved in head development. Recently, homologues of several of these genes have been cloned from animals that are radially organized, such as coral, sea anemones, jellyfish or hydra (cnidarians). Surprisingly, some of these are expressed apically and/or during apical patterning in hydrozoans, suggesting that head patterning is much older than previously thought.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Cnidaria / genetics
  • Cnidaria / growth & development*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics
  • Head / embryology*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Phylogeny