The King laboratory uses molecular and comparative genomic approaches to reconstruct the origin and evolution of animals. To this end, we have developed choanoflagellates, the closest living relatives of animals, into genome-enabled and experimentally-tractable organisms for investigating the unicellular ancestry of animals. Our research has revealed the unicellular ancestry of many key aspects of animal genomes and cell biology.


Choanos in the news:

Quanta Magazine (2014) Where Animals Come From

Not Exactly Rocket Science (2012): Bacteria transform the closest living relatives of animals from single cells into colonies

Science (2012): Multicellularity Driven by Bacteria

NPR (2011): Scientists Explore Why Single Cells Band Together

NY Times (2010): In a Single-Cell Predator, Clues to the Animal Kingdom’s Birth

Science — Origins blog (2009): Genomes Light Up Road to Animals

New Scientist (2009): Sponge larvae: Your unlikely ancestors

Science Daily (2008): New Evidence That Ancient Choanoflagellates Form Evolutionary Link Between Single-Celled And Multi-Celled Organisms

Pharyngula (2008): The choanoflagellate genome and metazoan evolution


Lab contact information:

King Lab
University of California, Berkeley
Department of Molecular & Cell Biology
142 Life Sciences Addition # 3200
Berkeley, CA 94720-3200