Maintenance of ancestral complexity and non-metazoan genes in two basal cnidarians

Ulrich Technau, Stephen A. Rudd, Peter Maxwell, Paul M.K. Gordon, Michael Saina, Lauretta C. Grasso, David C. Hayward, Christoph W. Sensen, Robert B. Saint, Thomas W. Holstein, Eldon E. Ball, David John Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Citations (Scopus)


Cnidarians are among the simplest extant animals; however EST analyses reveal that they have a remarkably high level of genetic complexity. In this article, we show that the full diversity of metazoan signaling pathways is represented in this phylum, as are antagonists previously known only in chordates. Many of the cnidarian ESTs match genes previously known only in non-animal kingdoms. At least some of these represent ancient genes lost by all bilaterians examined so far, rather than genes gained by recent lateral gene transfer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


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