Peter Holland

Linacre Professor of Zoology

Fellow of Merton College


Research Interests

I am interested in how the evolution of animal diversity can be explained through evolution of the genome. We use genome sequencing, transcriptomics, cell culture, gene expression and bioinformatics to analyse the evolution of homeobox genes, particularly in relation to gene and genome duplication. Currently, we are studying the evolution of homeobox genes and their functions in mammals, insects, molluscs and amphioxus.

Additional Information

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PA: Sharon Cornwell: (01865 271259)



Selected Publications

  • Maeso I*, Dunwell TL*, Wyatt CDR, Marletaz F, Veto B, Bernal JA, Quah S, Irimia M, Holland PWH (2016) Evolutionary origin and functional divergence of totipotent cell homeobox genes in eutherian mammals. BMC Biol. 14, 45

  • Marletaz, F, Maeso I, Faas L, Isaacs HV, Holland PWH (2015) Cdx ParaHox genes acquired distinct developmental roles after genome duplication in vertebrate evolution. BMC Biol 13, 56

  • Holland ND, Holland LZ, Holland PWH (2015) Scenarios for the making of vertebrates. Nature 520, 450-455

  • Ferguson L*, Marletaz F*, Carter J-M*, Taylor WR, Gibbs M, Breuker CJ, Holland PWH (2014) Ancient expansion of the Hox cluster in Llepidoptera generated four homeobox genes implicated in extra-embryonic tissue formation. PLoS Genetics 10: e10004698

  • Holland, P.W.H. (2012) Advanced Review: The evolution of homeobox genes.
    WIREs Developmental Biology. DOI: 10.1002/wdev.78

  • Holland, Peter (2011) The Animal Kingdom: a Very Short Introduction.
    Oxford University Press. £ 7.99

  • Putnam, N.H., (32 others), Holland, L.Z., Holland, P.W.H., Satoh, N. and Rokhsar, D.S. (2008) The amphioxus genome and the evolution of the chordate karyotype. Nature 453, 1064-1072
  • Holland, L.Z., (61 others), Satoh, N. and Holland, P.W.H. (2008) The amphioxus genome illuminates vertebrate origins and cephalochordate biology. Genome Research 18, 1100-1111