BioMed Central Genomics
Functional and comparative studies of insect genomes have shed light on the complement of genes, which in part, account for shared morphologies, developmental programs and life-histories. Contrasting the gene inventories of insects to those of the nematodes provides insight into the genomic changes responsible for their diversification. However, nematodes have weak relationships to insects, as each belongs to separate animal phyla. A better outgroup to distinguish lineage specific novelties would include other members of Arthropoda. For example, crustaceans are close allies to the insects (together forming Pancrustacea) and their fascinating aquatic lifestyle provides an important comparison for understanding the genetic basis of adaptations to life on land versus life in water.
Colbourne, John K.; Eads, Brian D.; Shaw, Joseph; Bohuski, Elizabeth; Bauer, Darren; and Andrews, Justen, "Sampling Daphnia's Expressed Genes: Preservation, Expansion and Invention of Crustacean Genes with Reference to Insect Genomes" (2007). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 605.