Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Metazoa

J Mol Evol 42:183-193 Morris PJ (1993) The developmental role of the extracellular matrix suggests a monophyletic origin of the kingdom Animalia. Evolution 47:152–165 Müller WEG (ed) (1998a) Molecular evolution: evidence ...

Molecular Evolution  Towards the Origin of Metazoa

Molecular Evolution Towards the Origin of Metazoa

Recently, new genes and their proteins that revealed striking new insights into the early evolution of multicellular animals have been identified and characterized from members of the lowest metazoan phylum, the porifera (sponges). The unexpected result was that the sequences obtained from sponge displayed high similarity to those found in higher metazoa; in consequence, it was concluded that during the transition from protozoa to metazoa the major structural and regulatory proteins evolved only once. The data gathered are now powerful arguments to establish monophyly of metazoa; in addition, new insights on the evolutionary diversification of metazoa were obtained.

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