The extension of comparative immunology to non-model systems, such as mollusks and annelids, has revealed an unexpected diversity in the complement of immune receptors and effectors among evolutionary lineages. However, several lophotrochozoan phyla remain unexplored mainly due to the lack of genomic resources. The increasing accessibility of high-throughput sequencing technologies offers unique opportunities for extending genome-wide studies to non-model systems. As a result, the genome-based study of the immune system in brachiopods allows a better understanding of the alternative survival strategies developed by these immunologically neglected phyla. Here we present a detailed overview of the molecular components of the immune system identified in the genome of the brachiopod Lingula anatina. Our findings reveal conserved intracellular signaling pathways as well as unique strategies for pathogen detection and killing in brachiopods
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