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Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals insights into the streamlined genomes of haplosclerid demosponges
Guzman, C.; Conaco, C. (2016). Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals insights into the streamlined genomes of haplosclerid demosponges. NPG Scientific Reports 6(18774): 10 pp.
In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Guzman, C.
  • Conaco, C.

    Sponges (Porifera) are one of the most ancestral metazoan groups. They are characterized by a simple body plan lacking the true tissues and organ systems found in other animals. Members of this phylum display a remarkable diversity of form and function and yet little is known about the composition and complexity of their genomes. In this study, we sequenced the transcriptomes of two marine haplosclerid sponges belonging to Demospongiae, the largest and most diverse class within phylum Porifera, and compared their gene content with members of other sponge classes. We recovered 44,693 and 50,067 transcripts expressed in adult tissues of Haliclona amboinensis and Haliclona tubifera, respectively. These transcripts translate into 20,280 peptides in H. amboinensis and 18,000 peptides in H. tubifera. Genes associated with important signaling and metabolic pathways, regulatory networks, as well as genes that may be important in the organismal stress response, were identified in the transcriptomes. Futhermore, lineage-specific innovations were identified that may be correlated with observed sponge characters and ecological adaptations. The core gene complement expressed within the tissues of adult haplosclerid demosponges may represent a streamlined and flexible genetic toolkit that underlies the ecological success and resilience of sponges to environmental stress.

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