1. Developmental Biology
  2. Evolutionary Biology
Download icon

Complex transcriptional regulation and independent evolution of fungal-like traits in a relative of animals

  1. Alex de Mendoza  Is a corresponding author
  2. Hiroshi Suga
  3. Jon Permanyer
  4. Manuel Irimia
  5. Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo
  1. The University of Western Australia, Australia
  2. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  3. Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
Research Article
  • Cited 22
  • Views 3,850
  • Annotations
Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e08904 doi: 10.7554/eLife.08904

Abstract

Cell-type specification through differential genome regulation is a hallmark of complex multicellularity. However, it remains unclear how this process evolved during the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms. To address this question, we investigated transcriptional dynamics in the ichthyosporean Creolimax fragrantissima, a relative of animals that undergoes coenocytic development. We find that Creolimax utilizes dynamic regulation of alternative splicing, long inter-genic non-coding RNAs and co-regulated gene modules associated with animal multicellularity in a cell-type specific manner. Moreover, our study suggests that the different cell types of the three closest animal relatives (ichthyosporeans, filastereans and choanoflagellates) are the product of lineage-specific innovations. Additionally, a proteomic survey of the secretome reveals adaptations to a fungal-like lifestyle. In summary, the diversity of cell types among protistan relatives of animals and their complex genome regulation demonstrates that the last unicellular ancestor of animals was already capable of elaborate specification of cell types.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Alex de Mendoza

    ARC CoE Plant Energy Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia
    For correspondence
    alexmendozasoler@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Hiroshi Suga

    Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Jon Permanyer

    EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Unit, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Manuel Irimia

    EMBL-CRG Systems Biology Unit, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo

    Institut de Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Stowers Institute for Medical Research, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: May 21, 2015
  2. Accepted: October 13, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: October 14, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 21, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, de Mendoza et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

Metrics

  • 3,850
    Page views
  • 782
    Downloads
  • 22
    Citations

Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.

Download links

A two-part list of links to download the article, or parts of the article, in various formats.

Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)

Download citations (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)

Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)

Further reading

    1. Cell Biology
    2. Developmental Biology
    Myo-Hyeon Park et al.
    Research Article
    1. Developmental Biology
    2. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
    Chen Qiu et al.
    Research Advance Updated