Evo-devo: variations on ancestral themes

Cell. 2008 Jan 25;132(2):185-95. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.01.003.


Most animals evolved from a common ancestor, Urbilateria, which already had in place the developmental genetic networks for shaping body plans. Comparative genomics has revealed rather unexpectedly that many of the genes present in bilaterian animal ancestors were lost by individual phyla during evolution. Reconstruction of the archetypal developmental genomic tool-kit present in Urbilateria will help to elucidate the contribution of gene loss and developmental constraints to the evolution of animal body plans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Phylogeny
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional
  • Signal Transduction


  • MicroRNAs