Nemertean and phoronid genomes reveal lophotrochozoan evolution and the origin of bilaterian heads

Yi Jyun Luo, Miyuki Kanda, Ryo Koyanagi, Kanako Hisata, Tadashi Akiyama, Hirotaka Sakamoto, Tatsuya Sakamoto, Noriyuki Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nemerteans (ribbon worms) and phoronids (horseshoe worms) are closely related lophotrochozoans - a group of animals including leeches, snails and other invertebrates. Lophotrochozoans represent a superphylum that is crucial to our understanding of bilaterian evolution. However, given the inconsistency of molecular and morphological data for these groups, their origins have been unclear. Here, we present draft genomes of the nemertean Notospermus geniculatus and the phoronid Phoronis australis, together with transcriptomes along the adult bodies. Our genome-based phylogenetic analyses place Nemertea sister to the group containing Phoronida and Brachiopoda. We show that lophotrochozoans share many gene families with deuterostomes, suggesting that these two groups retain a core bilaterian gene repertoire that ecdysozoans (for example, flies and nematodes) and platyzoans (for example, flatworms and rotifers) do not. Comparative transcriptomics demonstrates that lophophores of phoronids and brachiopods are similar not only morphologically, but also at the molecular level. Despite dissimilar head structures, lophophores express vertebrate head and neuronal marker genes. This finding suggests a common origin of bilaterian head patterning, although different heads evolved independently in each lineage. Furthermore, we observe lineage-specific expansions of innate immunity and toxin-related genes. Together, our study reveals a dual nature of lophotrochozoans, where conserved and lineage-specific features shape their evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-151
Number of pages11
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

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genome
gene
genes
Hirudinea
Platyhelminthes
transcriptomics
flatworm
Rotifera
transcriptome
leech
snails
toxins
immunity
brachiopod
invertebrates
vertebrates
Nematoda
snail
toxin
nematode

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Nemertean and phoronid genomes reveal lophotrochozoan evolution and the origin of bilaterian heads. / Luo, Yi Jyun; Kanda, Miyuki; Koyanagi, Ryo; Hisata, Kanako; Akiyama, Tadashi; Sakamoto, Hirotaka; Sakamoto, Tatsuya; Satoh, Noriyuki.

In: Nature Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2, No. 1, 01.01.2018, p. 141-151.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Luo, Yi Jyun ; Kanda, Miyuki ; Koyanagi, Ryo ; Hisata, Kanako ; Akiyama, Tadashi ; Sakamoto, Hirotaka ; Sakamoto, Tatsuya ; Satoh, Noriyuki. / Nemertean and phoronid genomes reveal lophotrochozoan evolution and the origin of bilaterian heads. In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2018 ; Vol. 2, No. 1. pp. 141-151.
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