Carmel McDougall

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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)
To understand the evolution of animals it is essential to have taxon sampling across a representative spread of the animal kingdom. With the recent rearrangement of most of the Bilateria into three major clades (Ecdysozoa, Lophotrochozoa and Deuterostomia) it has become clear that the Lophotrochozoa are relatively poorly represented in our knowledge of(More)
Instructions to fabricate mineralized structures with distinct nanoscale architectures, such as seashells and coral and vertebrate skeletons, are encoded in the genomes of a wide variety of animals. In mollusks, the mantle is responsible for the extracellular production of the shell, directing the ordered biomineralization of CaCO3 and the deposition of(More)
Since the drastic reorganisation of the phylogeny of the animal kingdom into three major clades of bilaterians; Ecdysozoa, Lophotrochozoa and Deuterostomia, it became glaringly obvious that the selection of model systems with extensive molecular resources was heavily biased towards only two of these three clades, namely the Ecdysozoa and Deuterostomia.(More)
The organization of echinoderm Hox clusters is of interest due to the role that Hox genes play in deuterostome development and body plan organization, and the unique gene order of the Hox complex in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, which has been linked to the unique development of the axial region. Here, it has been reported that the Hox and(More)
Tyrosinases, tyrosinase-related proteins, catechol oxidases and hemocyanins comprise the type-3 copper protein family and are involved in a variety of biological processes, including pigment formation, innate immunity and oxygen transport. Although this family is present in the three domains of life, its origin and early evolution are not well understood.(More)
The lysine (K)-rich mantle protein (KRMP) and shematrin protein families are unique to the organic matrices of pearl oyster shells. Similar to other proteins that are constituents of tough, extracellular structures, such as spider silk, shematrins and KRMPs, contain repetitive, low-complexity domains (RLCDs). Comprehensive analysis of available gene(More)
Among the Lophotrochozoa, cephalopods possess the highest degree of central nervous system (CNS) centralization and complexity. Although the anatomy of the developing cephalopod CNS has been investigated, the developmental mechanisms underlying brain development and evolution are unknown. POU genes encode key transcription factors controlling nervous system(More)
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(More)
The transcription factor COE (collier/olfactory-1/early B cell factor) is an unusual basic helix–loop–helix transcription factor as it lacks a basic domain and is maintained as a single copy gene in the genomes of all currently analysed non-vertebrate Metazoan genomes. Given the unique features of the COE gene, its proposed ancestral role in the(More)