The development and evolution of hydrozoan polyp and colony form

  • Paulyn Cartwright
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 178)

Hydrozoans represent an extremely diverse group of mostly colonial forms. Despite this tremendous diversity, many of the morphological differences between hydrozoan species can be attributed to simple changes in the relative position of regions/structures along the axes of the polyp and the stolon or hydrocaulus from which polyps bud. Many genes have been implicated in the specification of positional information along the axis of the polyp. Knowledge from these studies in Hydra, and from comparative studies in Hydractinia polyp polymorphs, suggests that evolutionary changes in the regulation of axial patterning genes may be a prominent mechanism underlying hydrozoan evolution. Despite the paucity of interspecies comparative expression information, hypotheses can be formulated about the role of developmental regulatory genes in hydrozoan evolution from information available from Hydra.


Colonial Form Basal Disk Parahox Gene Oral Structure Body Column 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulyn Cartwright
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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