Int J Biol Sci 2006; 2(2):30-31. doi:10.7150/ijbs.2.30 This issue
Departament de Genètica, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
The cephalochordate amphioxus occupies a central place in evolutionary thoughts to the origin of Vertebrates. With a prototypical vertebrate-like body plan and a preduplicative genome, the friendly lancelet seems to be in morphological and genetic motionless since its separation from the major branch of evolution that eventually ended up in our corner in the Animal Kingdom. This makes it an ideal model system with which, with the current development of genomic and experimental tools, an Evo-Devo approach to the understanding of the origin of vertebrates looks proper, reliable, and excitingly promising.
Keywords: amphioxus, Evo-Devo, vertebrates, chordates