ECB-ART-45180Dev Biol January 1, 2017; 427 (2): 203-211.
Echinoderm development and evolution in the post-genomic era.
The highly recognizable animals within the phylum Echinodermata encompass an enormous disparity of adult and larval body plans. The extensive knowledge of sea urchin development has culminated in the description of the exquisitely detailed gene regulatory network (GRN) that governs the specification of various embryonic territories. This information provides a unique opportunity for comparative studies in other echinoderm taxa to understand the evolution and developmental mechanisms underlying body plan change. This review focuses on recent work that has utilized new genomic resources and systems-level experiments to address questions of evolutionary developmental biology. In particular, we synthesize the results of several recent studies from various echinoderm classes that have explored the development and evolution of the larval skeleton, which is a major feature that distinguishes the two predominant larval subtypes within the Phylum. We specifically examine the ways in which GRNs can evolve, either through cis regulatory and/or protein-level changes in transcription factors. We also examine recent work comparing evolution across shorter time scales that occur within and between species of sea urchin, and highlight the kinds of questions that can be addressed by these comparisons. The advent of new genomic and transcriptomic datasets in additional species from all classes of echinoderm will continue to empower the use of these taxa for evolutionary developmental studies.
PubMed ID: 28185788
Article link: Dev Biol
Genes referenced: LOC575170