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The study of Priapulus caudatus reveals conserved molecular patterning underlying different gut morphogenesis in the Ecdysozoa

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, April 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
12 X users
1 Facebook page
3 Wikipedia pages


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The study of Priapulus caudatus reveals conserved molecular patterning underlying different gut morphogenesis in the Ecdysozoa
Published in
BMC Biology, April 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12915-015-0139-z
Pubmed ID

José M Martín-Durán, Andreas Hejnol


The digestive systems of animals can become highly specialized in response to their exploration and occupation of new ecological niches. Although studies on different animals have revealed commonalities in gut formation, the model systems Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, which belong to the invertebrate group Ecdysozoa, exhibit remarkable deviations in how their intestines develop. Their morphological and developmental idiosyncrasies have hindered reconstructions of ancestral gut characters for the Ecdysozoa, and limit comparisons with vertebrate models. In this respect, the phylogenetic position, and slow evolving morphological and molecular characters of marine priapulid worms advance them as a key group to decipher evolutionary events that occurred in the lineages leading to C. elegans and D. melanogaster. In the priapulid Priapulus caudatus, the gut consists of an ectodermal foregut and anus, and a mid region of at least partial endodermal origin. The inner gut develops into a 16-cell primordium devoid of visceral musculature, arranged in 3 mid tetrads and 2 posterior duplets. The mouth invaginates ventrally and shifts to a terminal anterior position as the ventral anterior ectoderm differentially proliferates. Contraction of the musculature occurs as the head region retracts into the trunk and resolves the definitive larval body plan. Despite obvious developmental differences with C. elegans and D. melanogaster, the expression in P. caudatus of the gut-related candidate genes NK2.1, foxQ2, FGF8/17/16, GATA456, HNF4, wnt1 and evx demonstrate three distinct evolutionarily conserved molecular profiles that correlate with morphologically identified subregions of the gut. The comparative analysis of priapulid development suggests that a midgut formed by a single endodermal population of vegetal cells, a ventral mouth, and the blastoporal origin of the anus are ancestral features in the Ecdysozoa. Our molecular data on P. caudatus reveal a conserved ecdysozoan gut patterning program and demonstrates that extreme morphological divergence has not been accompanied by major molecular innovations in transcriptional regulators during digestive system evolution in the Ecdysozoa. Our data help to understand the origins of the ecdysozoan body plan, including those of C. elegans and D. melanogaster, and this is critical for comparisons between these two prominent model systems and their vertebrate counterparts.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 47 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 47 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 19%
Researcher 7 15%
Student > Master 6 13%
Student > Bachelor 5 11%
Professor > Associate Professor 5 11%
Other 8 17%
Unknown 7 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 17 36%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 13 28%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 4 9%
Social Sciences 1 2%
Medicine and Dentistry 1 2%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 11 23%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 19. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 May 2023.
All research outputs
of 25,986,827 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
of 3 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,986,827 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 92nd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 30 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.5. This one scored the same or higher as 0 of them.
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We're also able to compare this research output to 3 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them