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Nature 2003 Sep 11;4256954:146. doi: 10.1038/425146a.
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Reproduction: widespread cloning in echinoderm larvae.

Eaves AA , Palmer AR .

Asexual reproduction by free-living invertebrate larvae is a rare and enigmatic phenomenon and, although it is known to occur in sea stars and brittle stars, it has not been detected in other echinoderms despite more than a century of intensive study. Here we describe spontaneous larval cloning in three species from two more echinoderm classes: a sea cucumber (Holothuroidea), a sand dollar and a sea urchin (Echinoidea). Larval cloning may therefore be an ancient ability of echinoderms and possibly of deutero-stomes - the group that includes echinoderms, acorn worms, sea squirts and vertebrates.

PubMed ID: 12968170
Article link: Nature

Genes referenced: LOC100887844