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Sponges are an ancient group of animals that diverged from other metazoans over 600 million years ago. Here we present the draft genome sequence of Amphimedon queenslandica, a demosponge from the Great Barrier Reef, and show that it is remarkably similar to other animal genomes in content, structure and organization. Comparative analysis enabled by the(More)
In bilaterian animals, such as humans, flies and worms, hundreds of microRNAs (miRNAs), some conserved throughout bilaterian evolution, collectively regulate a substantial fraction of the transcriptome. In addition to miRNAs, other bilaterian small RNAs, known as Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), protect the genome from transposons. Here we identify small(More)
The capacity to biomineralize is closely linked to the rapid expansion of animal life during the early Cambrian, with many skeletonized phyla first appearing in the fossil record at this time. The appearance of disparate molluscan forms during this period leaves open the possibility that shells evolved independently and in parallel in at least some groups.(More)
Metagenomic binning methods that leverage differential population abundances in microbial communities (differential coverage) are emerging as a complementary approach to conventional composition-based binning. Here we introduce GroopM, an automated binning tool that primarily uses differential coverage to obtain high fidelity population genomes from related(More)
Larval settlement is a vital transition period for marine invertebrates and can have far-reaching effects on the ecology and evolution of a species. To explore the molecular mechanisms of this critical process in a nonmodel organism, the abalone Haliotis asinina, we employed cDNA microarrays. By comparing gene expression profiles through mid- to late larval(More)
BACKGROUND New drug targets are urgently needed for parasites of socio-economic importance. Genes that are essential for parasite survival are highly desirable targets, but information on these genes is lacking, as gene knockouts or knockdowns are difficult to perform in many species of parasites. We examined the applicability of large-scale essentiality(More)
Permafrost contains about 50% of the global soil carbon. It is thought that the thawing of permafrost can lead to a loss of soil carbon in the form of methane and carbon dioxide emissions. The magnitude of the resulting positive climate feedback of such greenhouse gas emissions is still unknown and may to a large extent depend on the poorly understood role(More)
A huge discrepancy in morphological diversity exists between poriferans and eumetazoans. The disparate evolutionary outcomes of these two ancient metazoan lineages may be reflected in the composition, architecture, and regulation of genomes of modern representatives. As a case study, we compare the sizes of upstream intergenic regions of genes found within(More)
The post-genomic era of malaria research provided unprecedented insights into the biology of Plasmodium parasites. Due to the large evolutionary distance to model eukaryotes, however, we lack a profound understanding of many processes in Plasmodium biology. One example is the cell nucleus, which controls the parasite genome in a development- and cell(More)