Platynereis dumerilii—Annelid that is considered a living fossil — was a good candidate as a model in studies of evolution, development and neurobiology, since in this species everything indicates that the components of the pathway had been conserved. From the scientific databases on this organism, the scientific team was able to identify and classify the different components of its genetic machinery, with the ultimate goal of knowing which genes had to be studied to functionally characterize the pathway. Analyzing the expression patterns of the chosen genes – and also evaluating the morphological effects of their alteration with morpholine or treatments with exogenous retinoic acid – it has been possible for the first time to demonstrate that retinoic acid controlled cell differentiation in the P. species . dumeriliiand it facilitated the correct formation of neurons, the authors point out.

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‘We think that this neurogenic role represents the Paraguay Email List ancestral role of retinoic acid in bilateral animals. Therefore, its evolutionary origin would have coincided with the appearance of several components of the machinery in this evolutionary lineage, such as the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and the cytochrome Cyp26 ”, Albalat emphasizes. The new work published in the journal Science AdvancesIt is led by Mette Handberg-Thorsager (European Molecular Biology Laboratory-EMBL, Germany), Michael Schubert (Oceanological Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer, France), Detlev Arendt (University of Heidelberg and EMBL, Germany) and Vincent Laudet (Observatory Oceanological of Banyuls de la Marenda, France). In previous work, the Evo-Devo-Genomics research group of the UB-IRBio, led by professors Ricard Albalat and Cristian Cañestro,

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had also described the phenomenon of the loss of genes related to retinoic acid within the framework of a regressive evolution scenario in some model species. “Everything indicates that the AR machinery is a genetically robust system. In the case of humans, many of the enzymes that regulate the synthesis and degradation of AR are known. Understanding how this system has evolved and how these enzymes work is relevant to our health ”, concludes the researcher. Rare animals that reproduce asexually – only a thousand of all living vertebrate species – are thought to be at an evolutionary disadvantage compared to other animals that do so sexually. One of the theories that explain this is the idea that if new DNA is not introduced during reproduction, harmful genetic mutations can accumulate in successive generations,

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