Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Evolutionary origin of gastrulation: insights from sponge development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Shunsuke Sogabe, Nagayasu Nakanishi, Bernard Degnan

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Background

The evolutionary origin of gastrulation—defined as a morphogenetic event that leads to the establishment of germ layers—remains a vexing question. Central to this debate is the evolutionary relationship between the cell layers of sponges (poriferans) and eumetazoan germ layers. Despite considerable attention, it remains unclear whether sponge cell layers undergo progressive fate determination akin to eumetazoan primary germ layer formation during gastrulation.

Results

Here we show by cell-labelling experiments in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica that the cell layers established during embryogenesis have no relationship to the cell layers of the juvenile. In addition, juvenile epithelial cells can transdifferentiate into a range of cell types and move between cell layers. Despite the apparent lack of cell layer and fate determination and stability in this sponge, the transcription factor GATA, a highly conserved eumetazoan endomesodermal marker, is expressed consistently in the inner layer of A. queenslandica larvae and juveniles.

Conclusions

Our results are compatible with sponge cell layers not undergoing progressive fate determination and thus not being homologous to eumetazoan germ layers. Nonetheless, the expression of GATA in the sponge inner cell layer suggests a shared ancestry with the eumetazoan endomesoderm, and that the ancestral role of GATA in specifying internalised cells may antedate the origin of germ layers. Together, these results support germ layers and gastrulation evolving early in eumetazoan evolution from pre-existing developmental programs used for the simple patterning of cells in the first multicellular animals.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Biology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2014

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Pluripotency and the origin of animal multicellularity

    Sogabe, S., Hatleberg, W. L., Kocot, K. M., Say, T. E., Stoupin, D., Roper, K., Fernandez-Valverde, S. L., Degnan, S. M. & Degnan, B. M., 12 Jun 2019, In : Nature. 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Genome biology: unconventional DNA repair in an extreme genome

    Ferrier, D. E. K. & Sogabe, S., 22 Oct 2018, In : Current Biology. 28, 20, p. R1208-R1210

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  3. The ontogeny of choanocyte chambers during metamorphosis in the demosponge Amphimedon queenslandica

    Sogabe, S., Nakanishi, N. & Degnan, B., 8 Mar 2016, In : EvoDevo. 7, 13 p., 6.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. BMC Biology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201831 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. BMC Biology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2017

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  3. BMC Biology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201631 Dec 2016

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  4. BMC Biology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201531 Dec 2015

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  5. BMC Biology (Journal)

    Anne Magurran (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 201312 Dec 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

Related by journal

  1. Horizons in evolutionary genomics: an interview with David Ferrier

    Ferrier, D. E. K., 1 Nov 2018, In : BMC Biology. 16, 3 p., 124.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The important challenge of quantifying tropical diversity

    Magurran, A. E., 7 Mar 2017, In : BMC Biology. 15, 3 p., 14.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

  3. Hook tool manufacture in New Caledonian crows: behavioural variation and the influence of raw materials

    Klump, B. C., Sugasawa, S., St Clair, J. & Rutz, C., 18 Nov 2015, In : BMC Biology. 13, 15 p., 97.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Diversity is maintained by seasonal variation in species abundance

    Shimadzu, H., Dornelas, M., Henderson, P. A. & Magurran, A., 4 Sep 2013, In : BMC Biology. 11, September, 9 p., 98.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 259341042