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Ctenophores being the earliest diverging animal lineage

12-15-2013 21:47

Ctenophores look like striped jelly blobs, while resent studies suggested that Ctenophores take a critical place for reconstructing events that occurred early in animal evolution. Ryan and colleagues have sequenced, assembled, and annotated the genome of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, and indicated that ctenophores are the earliest diverging animal lineage, instead of sponges as many have thought. They also found that ctenophores have muscles and nerve systems, which sponges lack, indicating that animal evolution did not proceed smoothly from the simple to the more complex. Instead, the nervous system of ancestor maybe have evolved twice (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6118/391.1.summary?sid=beff7526-02b6-41af-ab6e-1be98186bfa8).
This study has been published in Science (Vol. 342 no. 6164) on Dec. 13 2013. For detailed information, please refer to :
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6164/1242592;
http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/12/scienceshot-your-cousin-was-comb-jelly

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