Annelid Distal-less/Dlx duplications reveal varied post-duplication fates

C McDougall, N Korchagina, JL Tobin, DE Ferrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Abstract BACKGROUND: Dlx (Distal-less) genes have various developmental roles and are widespread throughout the animal kingdom, usually occurring as single copy genes in non-chordates and as multiple copies in most chordate genomes. While the genomic arrangement and function of these genes is well known in vertebrates and arthropods, information about Dlx genes in other organisms is scarce. We investigate the presence of Dlx genes in several annelid species and examine Dlx gene expression in the polychaete Pomatoceros lamarckii. RESULTS: Two Dlx genes are present in P. lamarckii, Capitella teleta and Helobdella robusta. The C. teleta Dlx genes are closely linked in an inverted tail-to-tail orientation, reminiscent of the arrangement of vertebrate Dlx pairs, and gene conversion appears to have had a role in their evolution. The H. robusta Dlx genes, however, are not on the same genomic scaffold and display divergent sequences, while, if the P. lamarckii genes are linked in a tail-to-tail orientation they are a
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalBMC Evolutionary Biology
Issue numberPMC3199776
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Distal-less/Dlx
  • homeobox genes
  • genes duplication
  • genome organisation
  • metazoan evolution
  • divergence of protostomes and deuterostomes

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