Dr Linda Z Holland
Dr Nicholas Holland
Web address: http://hollandlab.ucsd.edu/intro.htm
Amphioxus is generally considered the closest living relative of the vertebrates. In spite of half a billion years of parallel evolution, amphioxus is a useful stand-in for the proximate invertebrate ancestor of the vertebrates. Its body plan and genomic organization are both vertebrate-like, but much simpler. In 1988-1989 we developed methods for inducing spawning of amphioxus and rearing embryos through metamorphosis, which set the groundwork for developmental genetic studies starting in 1992. This research takes advantage of the remarkable conservation of developmental genes across a wide range of animal phyla--in sequence, expression and in function.