Group B of the Sox transcription factor family is crucial in embryo development in the insects and vertebrates. Sox group B, unlike the other Sox groups, has an unusually enlarged functional repertoire in insects, but the timing and mechanism of the expansion of this group were unclear. We collected and analyzed data for Sox group B from 36 species of 12 phyla representing the major metazoan clades, with an emphasis on arthropods, to reconstruct the evolutionary history of SoxB in bilaterians and to date the expansion of Sox group B in insects. We found that the genome of the bilaterian last common ancestor probably contained one SoxB1 and one SoxB2 gene only and that tandem duplications of SoxB2 occurred before the arthropod diversification but after the arthropod-nematode divergence, resulting in the basal repertoire of Sox group B in diverse arthropod lineages. The arthropod Sox group B repertoire expanded differently from the vertebrate repertoire, which resulted from genome duplications. The parallel increases in the Sox group B repertoires of the arthropods and vertebrates are consistent with the parallel increases in the complexity and diversification of these two important organismal groups.
Zhong, Lei; Wang, Dengqiang; Gan, Xiaoni; Yang, Tong; He, Shunping.Parallel Expansions of Sox Transcription Factor Group B Predating the Diversifications of the Arthropods and Jawed Vertebrates,PLOS ONE,2011,6(1):e16570