Abstract

Aquatic colonial invertebrates (cnidarians, bryozoans, kamptozoans, hemichordates and tunicates) envelope highly diverse and abundant groups of epibenthic and macroplanctonic suspension-feeders playing the key role in many marine and freshwater communities and influencing the global geochemical cycles. Their colonies could be considered as organisms consisting of iterative modules, which are continuously produced during modular growth. Unsurprisingly, the developmental processes underlying modular growth such as initiation of budding, differentiation of polymorphic modules, programmed module senescence and regulation of the colony shape are governed by certain molecular determinants. Like embryogenesis, regeneration and other relatively well-studied developmental processes, modular growth involves universal signaling pathways and specific transcription factors to activate or inactivate expression of certain genes in certain cells or tissues. This review aims to sum up currently available knowledge about the molecular factors engaged in regulation of modular growth in colonial invertebrates.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
JournalBiological Communications
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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