The correlation between ontogeny and phylogeny on a molecular level has been observed in different animal phyla, multicellular plants, fungi, and even in prokaryotic bacterial biofilms.
The hallmark of those researches is that in different developmental stages, genes of different evolutionary age are used on the level of the whole organism. However, this correlation has not been observed until now on cellular level.
By using Hydra sp. as a model organism, we are trying to see if there is a difference in evolutionary age of cells from different cell types – from stem cells to fully differentiated cells, or between differently specialized cell types.