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Phosphatase Glossary: Holozoa

Holozoa [1] are a group of eukaryotes that include all animals (Metazoans) as well as the closely-related unicellular Choanoflagellates (sequenced genomes include Monosiga brevicollis and Salpingoeca rosetta), and the more basal clades Filasteria (e.g. Capsaspora owczarzaki and Ministeria vibrans) [2] and Ichthyosporea (fish parasites including Amoebidium parasiticum). These unicellular holozoa (sometimes called Choanozoa, though this is most likely to be paraphyletic) have a large number of kinases and other genes that were previously thought to be animal-specific [3, 4, 5] and so are of strong interest to understand the origins of animals. The closest major out-group of the holozoa are the fungi.


  1. Lang BF, O'Kelly C, Nerad T, Gray MW, and Burger G. The closest unicellular relatives of animals. Curr Biol. 2002 Oct 15;12(20):1773-8. DOI:10.1016/s0960-9822(02)01187-9 | PubMed ID:12401173 | HubMed [Lang]
  2. Shalchian-Tabrizi K, Minge MA, Espelund M, Orr R, Ruden T, Jakobsen KS, and Cavalier-Smith T. Multigene phylogeny of choanozoa and the origin of animals. PLoS One. 2008 May 7;3(5):e2098. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0002098 | PubMed ID:18461162 | HubMed [Shalchian-Tabrizi]
  3. Ruiz-Trillo I, Roger AJ, Burger G, Gray MW, and Lang BF. A phylogenomic investigation into the origin of metazoa. Mol Biol Evol. 2008 Apr;25(4):664-72. DOI:10.1093/molbev/msn006 | PubMed ID:18184723 | HubMed [Ruiz-Trillo]
  4. King N, Westbrook MJ, Young SL, Kuo A, Abedin M, Chapman J, Fairclough S, Hellsten U, Isogai Y, Letunic I, Marr M, Pincus D, Putnam N, Rokas A, Wright KJ, Zuzow R, Dirks W, Good M, Goodstein D, Lemons D, Li W, Lyons JB, Morris A, Nichols S, Richter DJ, Salamov A, Sequencing JG, Bork P, Lim WA, Manning G, Miller WT, McGinnis W, Shapiro H, Tjian R, Grigoriev IV, and Rokhsar D. The genome of the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis and the origin of metazoans. Nature. 2008 Feb 14;451(7180):783-8. DOI:10.1038/nature06617 | PubMed ID:18273011 | HubMed [King]
  5. Manning G, Young SL, Miller WT, and Zhai Y. The protist, Monosiga brevicollis, has a tyrosine kinase signaling network more elaborate and diverse than found in any known metazoan. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 15;105(28):9674-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0801314105 | PubMed ID:18621719 | HubMed [Manning]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed