Reconstrução do genoma ancestral metazoário revela um aumento na novidade genômica

domingo, dezembro 30, 2018

Reconstruction of the ancestral metazoan genome reveals an increase in genomic novelty

Jordi Paps & Peter W. H. Holland 

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 1730 (2018) 

Reconstruction of ancestral genomes. Evolutionary relationships of the major groups included in his study


Understanding the emergence of the Animal Kingdom is one of the major challenges of modern evolutionary biology. Many genomic changes took place along the evolutionary lineage that gave rise to the Metazoa. Recent research has revealed the role that co-option of old genes played during this transition, but the contribution of genomic novelty has not been fully assessed. Here, using extensive genome comparisons between metazoans and multiple outgroups, we infer the minimal protein-coding genome of the first animal, in addition to other eukaryotic ancestors, and estimate the proportion of novelties in these ancient genomes. Contrary to the prevailing view, this uncovers an unprecedented increase in the extent of genomic novelty during the origin of metazoans, and identifies 25 groups of metazoan-specific genes that are essential across the Animal Kingdom. We argue that internal genomic changes were as important as external factors in the emergence of animals.


We thank Ignacio Maeso, Ferdinand Marlétaz, Sebastian M. Shimeld, Patrick Gemmell, and Thomas L. Dunwell for feedback during this project. Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo kindly provided genome data for different holozoan species. The authors are grateful to friends and colleagues who provided feedback on the manuscript. P.W.H.H. and J.P. acknowledge support from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant [268513].

Author information


School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, UK

Jordi Paps

Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK

Jordi Paps & Peter W. H. Holland


J.P. and P.W.H.H. designed the study and analyses. J.P. performed the analyses. J.P. and P.W.H.H. wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jordi Paps.