CNS evolution: new insight from the mud

Curr Biol. 2009 Aug 11;19(15):R640-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.06.020.


Whether the highly centralised nervous systems of chordates and protostomes arose from a common ancestral precursor or independently has been a long-standing debate. Now, analysis of neural gene expression in an evolutionarily important chordate outgroup--the sand-dwelling, hemichordate acorn worms--reveals the presence of a central and peripheral nervous system, suggesting a common origin of central nervous systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anatomy, Comparative
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Central Nervous System / anatomy & histology*
  • Chordata / anatomy & histology*
  • Invertebrates / anatomy & histology*
  • Phylogeny