Marta Magri, a PhD candidate, and Jose Luis Gomez-Skarmeta contributed to the study of cis-regulatory regions during embryogenesis in two ascidians species. Phallusia and Ciona genera are distantly related. The genome sequences between the two genera have extensively diverged since this last common ancestor dating several hundred million years ago. Despite that Phallusia and Ciona species share almost identical early morphogenesis and stereotyped cell lineages.
Diversification of genome sequences of Phallusia and Ciona genera occurred several million years ago. Despite that, they show morofological and cell lineage similarities (adapted from paper, images from P. mammillata and C. robusta ).
In this study, P. mammillata and C. robusta were used to explore the evolution of transcriptional control. This work was led by the Patrick Lemaire at Centre de Recherche en Biologie cellulaire de Montpellier (CRBM), France. Altogether the team characterized the evolution of embryonic cis-regulatory landscapes between divergent Phallusia and Ciona ascidians.
Check the full work that was published in Developmental Biology in the link.