Lancelet DNA described


Lancelet

By John Timmer, at ars technica:

Lancelet (amphioxus) genome and the origin of vertebrates

Those of you who took high school biology may remember the lancelet, also known as the amphioxus. Its simplified body plan is notable for containing a number of features that it shares in common with us vertebrates, such as a dorsal neural tube, presence of a notochord, segmented body muscles, and tail. That combination of simplicity and shared features has suggested to many that the amphioxus might shed light on the origin of the chordates. That suggestion has been dramatically confirmed by the completion of the genome of the Florida lancelet, Branchiostoma floridae, published today in Nature, with three accompanying publications that will appear later in Genome Research.

Over 500 million years ago a spineless creature on the ocean floor experienced two successive doublings in the amount of its DNA, a “mistake” that eventually triggered the evolution of humans and many other animals, says a new study: here.

1 thought on “Lancelet DNA described

  1. Scientists reveal human worm link

    Science: We’re all worms! Well, sort of. Cambridge University scientists who have traced human evolution back 500 million years have found that our species is descended from a two-inch long worm-like sea creature.

    The now-extinct Pikaia gracilens is now the oldest-known member of the chordate family, which includes all modern vertebrates – including humans.

    Scientists originally assumed it was related to leeches and earthworms.

    But a new study published in Biological Reviews today provided the “smoking gun” that confirmed what experts had suspected – that Pikaia was the ancestor of animals with spinal cords.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/116220

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.