Molecular profiling of annelid myocytes reveals that the last common protostome-deuterostome ancestor already possessed a dual musculature, with visceral smooth muscles ensuring digestion and somatic striated muscles ensuring locomotion.
A catalytically dead paralog activates its cognate enzyme through an allosteric mechanism that combined structural and phylogenomic analysis indicates arose through acquisition of a dimerization domain, suggesting a general model for how complex allostery evolves.
Sponges and ctenophores lack hypoxia-inducible factors, suggesting that the metazoan last common ancestor could have lived aerobically under severe hypoxia and did not need to regulate its transcription in response to oxygen availability.
Protein coding genes strongly support a sister group relationship between Placozoa and Cnidaria to the exclusion of Bilateria, contradicting previous phylogenies, which have likely been misled by pervasive compositional heterogeneity.
A genetic screen reveals that two predicted glycosyltransferases promote rosette development and prevent cell clumping in one of the closest living relatives of animals, the choanoflagellate S. rosetta.
Inactivation of the Dictyostelium orthologue of the tumour suppressor Neurofibromin (NF1) enables amoebae to ingest dissolved nutrients using macropinocytosis more rapidly, and to prey on larger organisms using phagocytosis.