Development Genes and Evolution

, Volume 213, Issue 11, pp 573–576

Evolution of echinoderms may not have required modification of the ancestral deuterostome HOX gene cluster: first report of PG4 and PG5 Hox orthologues in echinoderms

  • Suzanne Long
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Wei-Chung Chen
  • Michael Thorndyke
  • Maria Byrne
Sequence Corner

DOI: 10.1007/s00427-003-0355-3

Cite this article as:
Long, S., Martinez, P., Chen, WC. et al. Dev Genes Evol (2003) 213: 573. doi:10.1007/s00427-003-0355-3

Abstract

Is the extreme derivation of the echinoderm body plan reflected in a derived echinoderm Hox genotype? Building on previous work, we exploited the sequence conservation of the homeobox to isolate putative orthologues of several Hox genes from two asteroid echinoderms. The 5-peptide motif (LPNTK) diagnostic of PG4 Hox genes was identified immediately downstream of one of the partial homeodomains from Patiriella exigua. This constitutes the first unequivocal report of a PG4 Hox gene orthologue from an echinoderm. Subsequent screenings identified genes of both PG4 and PG4/5 in Asterias rubens. Although in echinoids only a single gene (PG4/5) occupies these two contiguous cluster positions, we conclude that the ancestral echinoderm must have had the complete deuterostome suite of medial Hox genes, including orthologues of both PG4 and PG4/5 (= PG5). The reported absence of PG4 in the HOX cluster of echinoids is therefore a derived state, and the ancestral echinoderm probably had a HOX cluster not dissimilar to that of other deuterostomes. Modification of the ancestral deuterostome Hox genotype may not have been required for evolution of the highly derived echinoderm body plan.

Keywords

HOX cluster evolution Patiriella Asterias 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Long
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pedro Martinez
    • 3
  • Wei-Chung Chen
    • 4
  • Michael Thorndyke
    • 5
  • Maria Byrne
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy and Histology F13University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Departament de Genètica, Facultat de BiologiaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.School of Biological Sciences, Royal HollowayUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Kristineberg Marine Research StationFiskebackskilSweden

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