Research Repository

What makes an animal? The molecular quest for the origin of the Animal Kingdom

Paps, J (2018) 'What makes an animal? The molecular quest for the origin of the Animal Kingdom.' Integrative and Comparative Biology, 58 (4). 654 - 665. ISSN 0003-1569

icy036.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


What makes an animal? To find the answer we need to integrate data from disciplines such as phylogenetics, palaeontology, ecology, development, anatomy and physiology, as well as molecular biology and genomics. Knowledge of which groups branched before and after the origin of animals is essential. Recent advances in molecular phylogenetics, together with the discovery of new eukaryotic lineages, have drawn a new picture of the ancestry of animals. The nature of the early diverging animal lineages and the timing of the transition are in a state of flux. Various factors have been linked to this striking transition to multicellularity, including changes in environmental conditions and the ecological interactions between unicellular eukaryotes. The current wealth of genomic data has also shed new light on this question. The analysis of the genome of various close relatives of animals has revealed the importance that recycling of ancient genes into metazoan biological functions played into animal origins. A recent study reconstructing the genome of the last common ancestor of extant animals has unveiled an unprecedented emergence of new genes, highlighting the role of genomic novelty in the origin of metazoans.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: From the symposium “From small and squishy to big and armored: Genomic, ecological and paleontological insights into the early evolution of animals”, presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, January 3–8, 2018, San Francisco, CA.
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Life Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2018 14:24
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2019 18:15

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item