Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute, along with more than 70 other researchers from around the world, have sequenced and analyzed the genome of Hydra magnipapillata, a fresh water member of the cnidaria — stinging animals that include jellyfish, sea anemones and corals.The research, published in the March 14 edition of Nature, was co-led by Ewen F. Kirkness, JCVI, Jarrod A. Chapman, Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, and Oleg Simakov, University of California, Berkeley. This is the second sequenced cnidarian genome, following that of a sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, in 2007. The ancestors of these two species diverged more than 500 million years ago, and comparison of their genomes has revealed common features of the earliest animals that gave rise to the diversity of animals on Earth today. Unexpectedly, the sequencing also revealed a novel bacterium that lives in close association with the Hydra.
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