Sarah J. Bourlat

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Deuterostomes comprise vertebrates, the related invertebrate chordates (tunicates and cephalochordates) and three other invertebrate taxa: hemichordates, echinoderms and Xenoturbella. The relationships between invertebrate and vertebrate deuterostomes are clearly important for understanding our own distant origins. Recent phylogenetic studies of chordate(More)
Xenoturbella bocki, first described in 1949 (ref. 1), is a delicate, ciliated, marine worm with a simple body plan: it lacks a through gut, organized gonads, excretory structures and coelomic cavities. Its nervous system is a diffuse nerve net with no brain. Xenoturbella's affinities have long been obscure and it was initially linked to turbellarian(More)
The new animal phylogeny inferred from ribosomal genes some years ago has prompted a number of radical rearrangements of the traditional, morphology based metazoan tree. The two main bilaterian clades, Deuterostomia and Protostomia, find strong support, but the protostomes consist of two sister groups, Ecdysozoa and Lophotrochozoa, not seen in morphology(More)
In yeast, the pheromone alpha-factor acts as an antiproliferative factor that induces G1 arrest and cellular differentiation. Previous data have indicated that Far1, a factor dedicated to pheromone-induced cell cycle arrest, is under positive and negative posttranslational regulation. Phosphorylation by the pheromone-stimulated mitogen-activated protein(More)
Mitochondrial genome comparisons contribute in multiple ways when inferring animal relationships. As well as primary sequence data, rare genomic changes such as gene order, shared gene boundaries and genetic code changes, which are unlikely to have arisen through convergent evolution, are useful tools in resolving deep phylogenies. Xenoturbella bocki is a(More)
Research into arthropod evolution is hampered by the derived nature and rapid evolution of the best-studied out-group: the nematodes. We consider priapulids as an alternative out-group. Priapulids are a small phylum of bottom-dwelling marine worms; their tubular body with spiny proboscis or introvert has changed little over 520 million years and(More)
This viewpoint paper explores the potential of genomics technology to provide accurate, rapid, and cost efficient observations of the marine environment. The use of such approaches in next generation marine monitoring programs will help achieve the goals of marine legislation implemented world-wide. Genomic methods can yield faster results from monitoring,(More)
Ecdysozoa is a clade composed of eight phyla: the arthropods, tardigrades and onychophorans that share segmentation and appendages and the nematodes, nematomorphs, priapulids, kinorhynchs and loriciferans, which are worms with an anterior proboscis or introvert. Ecdysozoa contains the vast majority of animal species and there is a great diversity of body(More)
Acoels are simply organized unsegmented worms, lacking hindgut and anus. Several publications over recent years challenge the long-held view that acoels are early offshoots of the flatworms. Instead a basal position as sister group to all other bilaterian animals was suggested, mainly based on molecular evidence. This led to the view that features of acoels(More)
The benthic marine worm Xenoturbella is frequently contaminated with molluscan DNA, which had earlier caused confusion resulting in a suggested bivalve relationship. In order to find the source of the contaminant, we have used molluscan sequences derived from Xenoturbella and compared them to barcodes obtained from several individuals of the nonmicroscopic(More)