Meeting Abstract

S5.9  Jan. 5  The Origin(s) of Segmentation in Animals AKAM, M*; BRENA, C; CHIPMAN, A.C; ERIKSSON, J; PEEL, A; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge m.akam@zoo.cam.ac.uk

Three major animal lineages are segmented - the annelids, the pan-arthropods and the vertebrates. Traditionally, annelids and arthropods have been assumed to share a common origin of segmentation, while vertebrates were thought to have acquired segmentation independently. New phylogenies of the animal kingdom challenge this assumption. Studies of the developmental and genetic mechanisms underlying segmentation can help us to test these hypotheses, but before we can do this, we must explore the diversity of mechanisms within each phylum, and consider the possibility that similar gene networks may have been recruited convergently in different lineages. I will discuss these questions, focusing on studies of segmentation in insects, myriapods and onychophorans