Genome sequencing has allowed families of genes to be mapped across the phyla, and it is presumed that the presence of a specific gene in different animal groups signifies a shared common ancestor. Over the years, it has become apparent that many significant genes are widely shared in the animal kingdom, and this blog is concerned with two more cases recently published.
Pax genes are typically linked to eye development, although they have a variety of other functions. Pax-6 is regarded as a master control gene known to turn on eye development in the arthropoda, the mollusca, and the vertebrata. The new work extends the analysis to a jellyfish.
“Here we have isolated three Pax genes (Pax-A, Pax-B, and Pax-E) from Cladonema radiatum, a hydrozoan jellyfish with elaborate eyes. Cladonema Pax-A is strongly expressed in the retina, whereas Pax-B and Pax-E are highly expressed in the manubrium, the feeding and reproductive organ.”
For more, go here.