Top image

Staff at EMBL

Dr. Detlev Arendt

Group Leader, Senior Scientist and Academic Mentor Postdoctoral Training
Arendt Group EMBL International Centre for Advanced Training (EICAT)

EMBL Heidelberg, Meyerhofstraße 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

E-mail: send a mail


PhD 1999, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg.
Team leader at EMBL since 2002.
Group leader and senior scientist since 2007.
Academic mentor, postdoctoral training since 2007.
ERC Advanced Investigator since 2012.


Development of the annelid axochord: insights into notochord evolution. Lauri, A., Brunet, T., Handberg-Thorsager, M., Fischer, A.H., Simakov, O., Steinmetz, P.R., Tomer, R., Keller, P.J. & Arendt, D. Science. 2014 Sep 12;345(6202):1365-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1253396. Europe PMC

The genomic substrate for adaptive radiation in African cichlid fish. Brawand, D., Wagner, C.E., Li, Y.I., Malinsky, M., Keller, I., Fan, S., Simakov, O., Ng, A.Y., Lim, Z.W., Bezault, E., Turner-Maier, J., Johnson, J., Alcazar, R., Noh, H.J., Russell, P., Aken, B., Alfoldi, J., Amemiya, C., Azzouzi, N., Baroiller, J.F., Barloy-Hubler, F., Berlin, A., Bloomquist, R., Carleton, K.L., Conte, M.A., D'Cotta, H., Eshel, O., Gaffney, L., Galibert, F., Gante, H.F., Gnerre, S., Greuter, L., Guyon, R., Haddad, N.S., Haerty, W., Harris, R.M., Hofmann, H.A., Hourlier, T., Hulata, G., Jaffe, D.B., Lara, M., Lee, A.P., MacCallum, I., Mwaiko, S., Nikaido, M., Nishihara, H., Ozouf-Costaz, C., Penman, D.J., Przybylski, D., Rakotomanga, M., Renn, S.C., Ribeiro, F.J., Ron, M., Salzburger, W., Sanchez-Pulido, L., Santos, M.E., Searle, S., Sharpe, T., Swofford, R., Tan, F.J., Williams, L., Young, S., Yin, S., Okada, N., Kocher, T.D., Miska, E.A., Lander, E.S., Venkatesh, B., Fernald, R.D., Meyer, A., Ponting, C.P., Streelman, J.T., Lindblad-Toh, K., Seehausen, O. & Di Palma, F. Nature. 2014 Sep 3. doi: 10.1038/nature13726. Europe PMC

Evolution: Ctenophore Genomes and the Origin of Neurons. Marlow, H. & Arendt, D. Curr Biol. 2014 Aug 18;24(16):R757-R761. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.06.057. Europe PMC

Structural evolution of cell types by step-wise assembly of cellular modules. Achim, K. & Arendt, D. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2014 Jul 3;27C:102-108. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.05.001. Europe PMC

Illuminating the base of the annelid tree using transcriptomics. Weigert, A., Helm, C., Meyer, M., Nickel, B., Arendt, D., Hausdorf, B., Santos, S.R., Halanych, K.M., Purschke, G., Bleidorn, C. & Struck, T.H. Mol Biol Evol. 2014 Jun;31(6):1391-401. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msu080. Epub 2014 Feb23. Europe PMC

The bilaterian forebrain: an evolutionary chimaera. Tosches, M.A. & Arendt, D. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2013 Dec;23(6):1080-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.09.005. Epub2013 Sep 27. Europe PMC

Evolution of clitellate phaosomes from rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells of polychaetes - a study in the leech Helobdella robusta (Annelida, Sedentaria, Clitellata). Doring, C., Gosda, J., Tessmar-Raible, K., Hausen, H., Arendt, D. & Purschke, G. Front Zool. 2013 Sep 5;10(1):52. doi: 10.1186/1742-9994-10-52. Europe PMC

Linking micro- and macro-evolution at the cell type level: a view from the lophotrochozoan Platynereis dumerilii. Simakov, O., Larsson, T.A. & Arendt, D. Brief Funct Genomics. 2013 Sep;12(5):430-9. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/els049. Epub 2012Nov 20. Europe PMC

Methods for generating year-round access to amphioxus in the laboratory. Benito-Gutierrez, E., Weber, H., Bryant, D.V. & Arendt, D. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 26;8(8):e71599. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071599. eCollection2013. Europe PMC

Somatic and visceral nervous systems - an ancient duality. Bertucci, P. & Arendt, D. BMC Biol. 2013 Apr 30;11(1):54. doi: 10.1186/1741-7007-11-54. Europe PMC

Mesoteloblast-Like Mesodermal Stem Cells in the Polychaete Annelid Platynereis dumerilii (Nereididae). Fischer, A.H. & Arendt, D. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2013 Mar;320(2):94-104. doi: 10.1002/jez.b.22486. Epub2013 Feb 13. Europe PMC

Molecular analysis of the amphioxus frontal eye unravels the evolutionary origin of the retina and pigment cells of the vertebrate eye. Vopalensky, P., Pergner, J., Liegertova, M., Benito-Gutierrez, E., Arendt, D. & Kozmik, Z. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 18;109(38):15383-8. Epub 2012 Sep 4. Europe PMC

Extensive chordate and annelid macrosynteny reveals ancestral homeobox gene organization. Hui, J.H., McDougall, C., Monteiro, A.S., Holland, P.W., Arendt, D., Balavoine, G. & Ferrier, D.E. Mol Biol Evol. 2012 Jan;29(1):157-65. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msr175. Epub 2011 Jul4. Europe PMC

A holistic approach to marine eco-systems biology. Karsenti, E., Acinas, S.G., Bork, P., Bowler, C., De Vargas, C., Raes, J., Sullivan, M., Arendt, D., Benzoni, F., Claverie, J.M., Follows, M., Gorsky, G., Hingamp, P., Iudicone, D., Jaillon, O., Kandels-Lewis, S., Krzic, U., Not, F., Ogata, H., Pesant, S., Reynaud, E.G., Sardet, C., Sieracki, M.E., Speich, S., Velayoudon, D., Weissenbach, J. & Wincker, P. PLoS Biol. 2011 Oct;9(10):e1001177. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001177. Epub 2011Oct 18. Europe PMC

The segmental pattern of otx, gbx, and Hox genes in the annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Steinmetz, P.R., Kostyuchenko, R.P., Fischer, A. & Arendt, D. Evol Dev. 2011 Jan-Feb;13(1):72-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2010.00457.x. Europe PMC

Profiling by image registration reveals common origin of annelid mushroom bodies and vertebrate pallium. Tomer, R., Denes, A.S., Tessmar-Raible, K. & Arendt, D. Cell. 2010 Sep 3;142(5):800-9. Europe PMC

Hedgehog signaling regulates segment formation in the annelid Platynereis. Dray, N., Tessmar-Raible, K., Le Gouar, M., Vibert, L., Christodoulou, F., Schipany, K., Guillou, A., Zantke, J., Snyman, H., Behague, J., Vervoort, M., Arendt, D. & Balavoine, G. Science. 2010 Jul 16;329(5989):339-42. Europe PMC

Three consecutive generations of nephridia occur during development of Platynereis dumerilii (Annelida, Polychaeta). Hasse, C., Rebscher, N., Reiher, W., Sobjinski, K., Moerschel, E., Beck, L., Tessmar-Raible, K., Arendt, D. & Hassel, M. Dev Dyn. 2010Jul;239(7):1967-76. Europe PMC

Ancient animal microRNAs and the evolution of tissue identity. Christodoulou, F., Raible, F., Tomer, R., Simakov, O., Trachana, K., Klaus, S., Snyman, H., Hannon, G.J., Bork, P. & Arendt, D. Nature. 2010 Feb 25;463(7284):1084-8. Epub 2010 Jan 31. Europe PMC

Six3 demarcates the anterior-most developing brain region in bilaterian animals. Steinmetz, P.R., Urbach, R., Posnien, N., Eriksson, J., Kostyuchenko, R.P., Brena, C., Guy, K., Akam, M., Bucher, G. & Arendt, D. Evodevo. 2010 Dec 29;1(1):14. Europe PMC

The normal development of Platynereis dumerilii (Nereididae, Annelida). Fischer, A.H., Henrich, T. & Arendt, D. Front Zool. 2010 Dec 30;7:31. Europe PMC

The evolution of phototransduction and eyes. Lamb, T.D., Arendt, D. & Collin, S.P. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Oct 12;364(1531):2791-3. Europe PMC

The 'division of labour' model of eye evolution. Arendt, D., Hausen, H. & Purschke, G. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Oct 12;364(1531):2809-17. Europe PMC

CNS evolution: new insight from the mud. Benito-Gutierrez, E. & Arendt, D. Curr Biol. 2009 Aug 11;19(15):R640-2. Europe PMC

Features of the ancestral bilaterian inferred from Platynereis dumerilii ParaHox genes. Hui, J.H., Raible, F., Korchagina, N., Dray, N., Samain, S., Magdelenat, G., Jubin, C., Segurens, B., Balavoine, G., Arendt, D. & Ferrier, D.E. BMC Biol. 2009 Jul 23;7:43. Europe PMC

To be or not to be a flatworm: the acoel controversy. Egger, B., Steinke, D., Tarui, H., De Mulder, K., Arendt, D., Borgonie, G., Funayama, N., Gschwentner, R., Hartenstein, V., Hobmayer, B., Hooge, M., Hrouda, M., Ishida, S., Kobayashi, C., Kuales, G., Nishimura, O., Pfister, D., Rieger, R., Salvenmoser, W., Smith, J., Technau, U., Tyler, S., Agata, K., Salzburger, W. & Ladurner, P. PLoS One. 2009;4(5):e5502. Epub 2009 May 11. Europe PMC

Eye evolution: the blurry beginning. Nilsson, D.E. & Arendt, D. Curr Biol. 2008 Dec 9;18(23):R1096-8. Europe PMC

Mechanism of phototaxis in marine zooplankton. Jekely, G., Colombelli, J., Hausen, H., Guy, K., Stelzer, E.H.K., Nedelec, F. & Arendt, D. Nature. 2008 Nov 20;456(7220):395-9. Europe PMC

The evolution of cell types in animals: emerging principles from molecular studies. Arendt, D. Nat Rev Genet. 2008 Nov;9(11):868-82. Europe PMC

The evolution of nervous system centralization. Arendt, D., Denes, A.S., Jekely, G. & Tessmar-Raible, K. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2008 Apr 27;363(1496):1523-8. Europe PMC

4DXpress: a database for cross-species expression pattern comparisons. Haudry, Y., Berube, H., Letunic, I., Weeber, P.D., Gagneur, J., Girardot, C., Kapushesky, M., Arendt, D., Bork, P., Brazma, A., Furlong, E.E., Wittbrodt, J. & Henrich, T. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jan;36(Database issue):D847-53. Epub 2007 Oct 4. Europe PMC

atonal- and achaete-scute-related genes in the annelid Platynereis dumerilii: insights into the evolution of neural basic-Helix-Loop-Helix genes. Simionato, E., Kerner, P., Dray, N., Le Gouar, M., Ledent, V., Arendt, D. & Vervoort, M. BMC Evol Biol. 2008 Jun 9;8:170. Europe PMC

Conserved sensory-neurosecretory cell types in annelid and fish forebrain: insights into hypothalamus evolution. Tessmar-Raible, K., Raible, F., Christodoulou, F., Guy, K., Rembold, M., Hausen, H. & Arendt, D. Cell. 2007 Jun 29;129(7):1389-400. Europe PMC

Vasa unveils a common origin of germ cells and of somatic stem cells from the posterior growth zone in the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii. Rebscher, N., Zelada-Gonzalez, F., Banisch, T.U., Raible, F. & Arendt, D. Dev Biol. 2007 Jun 15;306(2):599-611. Epub 2007 Apr 1. Europe PMC

Cellular resolution expression profiling using confocal detection of NBT/BCIP precipitate by reflection microscopy. Jekely, G. & Arendt, D. Biotechniques. 2007 Jun;42(6):751-5. Europe PMC

Molecular architecture of annelid nerve cord supports common origin of nervous system centralization in bilateria. Denes, A.S., Jekely, G., Steinmetz, P.R., Raible, F., Snyman, H., Prud'homme, B., Ferrier, D.E., Balavoine, G. & Arendt, D. Cell. 2007 Apr 20;129(2):277-88. Europe PMC

Duplication of the ribosomal gene cluster in the marine polychaete Platynereis dumerilii correlates with ITS polymorphism. Hui, JHL; Kortchagina, N; Arendt, D.; Balavoine, G; Ferrier, DEK Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2007/04 87(2) 443-449

Polychaete trunk neuroectoderm converges and extends by mediolateral cell intercalation. Steinmetz, P.R., Zelada-Gonzales, F., Burgtorf, C., Wittbrodt, J. & Arendt, D. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Feb 14;. Europe PMC

Hox gene expression in larval development of the polychaetes Nereis virens and Platynereis dumerilii (Annelida, Lophotrochozoa). Kulakova, M., Bakalenko, N., Novikova, E., Cook, C.E., Eliseeva, E., Steinmetz, P.R., Kostyuchenko, R.P., Dondua, A., Arendt, D., Akam, M. & Andreeva, T. Dev Genes Evol. 2007 Jan;217(1):39-54. Epub 2006 Dec 19. Europe PMC

Opsins and clusters of sensory G-protein-coupled receptors in the sea urchin genome. Raible, F., Tessmar-Raible, K., Arboleda, E., Kaller, T., Bork, P., Arendt, D. & Arnone, M.I. Dev Biol. 2006 Dec 1;300(1):461-75. Epub 2006 Sep 5. Europe PMC

The expression of a hunchback ortholog in the polychaete annelid Platynereis dumerilii suggests an ancestral role in mesoderm development and neurogenesis. Kerner, P., Zelada Gonzalez, F., Le Gouar, M., Ledent, V., Arendt, D. & Vervoort, M. Dev Genes Evol. 2006 Dec;216(12):821-8. Epub 2006 Sep 16. Europe PMC

The regulatory genome - Gene regulatory networks in development and evolution. Arendt, D. Science 2006 314(5802)

Evolution of intraflagellar transport from coated vesicles and autogenous origin of the eukaryotic cilium. Jekely, G. & Arendt, D. Bioessays. 2006 Feb;28(2):191-8. Europe PMC

Photoreceptor cells and eyes in Annelida. Purschke, G., Arendt, D., Hausen, H. & Müller, M.C.M. Arthropod Structure & Development 2006 35 211-230

Vertebrate-type intron-rich genes in the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Raible, F., Tessmar-Raible, K., Osoegawa, K., Wincker, P., Jubin, C., Balavoine, G., Ferrier, D., Benes, V., de Jong, P., Weissenbach, J., Bork, P. & Arendt, D. Science 2005 Nov 25;310(5752):1325-6. Europe PMC

Fluorescent two-color whole mount in situ hybridization in Platynereis dumerilii (Polychaeta, Annelida), an emerging marine molecular model for evolution and development. Tessmar-Raible, K., Steinmetz, P.R., Snyman, H., Hassel, M. & Arendt, D. Biotechniques 2005 Oct;39(4):460, 462, 464. Europe PMC

Ancestry of photic and mechanic sensation? Fritzsch, B., Piatigorsky, J., Tessmar-Raible, K., Jekely, G., Guy, K., Raible, F., Wittbrodt, J. & Arendt, D. Science 2005 May 20;308(5725):1113-1114. Europe PMC

New animal models for evolution and development. Tessmar-Raible, K. & Arendt, D. Genome Biol 2005;6(1):303. Epub 2004 Dec 21. Europe PMC

Genes and homology in nervous system evolution: Comparing gene functions, expression patterns, and cell type molecular fingerprints. Arendt, D. Theory in Biosciences 2005 Nov;124(2):185-197.

Ciliary photoreceptors with a vertebrate-type opsin in an invertebrate brain. Arendt, D., Tessmar-Raible, K., Snyman, H., Dorresteijn, A.W. & Wittbrodt, J. Science 2004 Oct 29;306(5697):869-71. Europe PMC

Metazoan evolution: some animals are more equal than others. Raible, F. & Arendt, D. Curr Biol 2004 Feb 3;14(3):R106-8. Europe PMC

Comparative aspects of gastrulation. Arendt, D. In "Gastrulation", Stern, C. (ed.), Cold Spring Harbor Press, New York

Arthropod-like expression patterns of engrailed and wingless in the annelid Platynereis dumerilii suggest a role in segment formation. Prud'homme, B., de Rosa, R., Arendt, D., Julien, J.F., Pajaziti, R., Dorresteijn, A.W., Adoutte, A., Wittbrodt, J. & Balavoine, G. Curr Biol 2003 Oct 28;13(21):1876-81. Europe PMC

Emerging systems: between vertebrates and arthropods, the Lophotrochozoa. Tessmar-Raible, K. & Arendt, D. Curr Opin Genet Dev 2003 Aug;13(4):331-40. Europe PMC

Spiralians in the limelight. Arendt, D. Genome Biol 2003;5(1):303. Europe PMC

Evolution of eyes and photoreceptor cell types. Arendt, D. Int J Dev Biol 2003;47(7-8):563-71. Europe PMC

Development of pigment-cup eyes in the polychaete Platynereis dumerilii and evolutionary conservation of larval eyes in Bilateria. Arendt, D., Tessmar, K., de Campos-Baptista, M.I., Dorresteijn, A. & Wittbrodt, J. Development 2002 Mar;129(5):1143-54. Europe PMC

Reconstructing the eyes of Urbilateria. Arendt, D. & Wittbrodt, J. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 2001 Oct 29;356(1414):1545-63. Europe PMC

Medaka eyeless is the key factor linking retinal determination and eye growth. Loosli, F., Winkler, S., Burgtorf, C., Wurmbach, E., Ansorge, W., Henrich, T., Grabher, C., Arendt, D., Carl, M., Krone, A., Grzebisz, E. & Wittbrodt, J. Development 2001 Oct;128(20):4035-44. Europe PMC

Evolution of the bilaterian larval foregut. Arendt, D., Technau, U. & Wittbrodt, J. Nature 2001 Jan 4;409(6816):81-5. Europe PMC

Comparison of early nerve cord development in insects and vertebrates. Arendt, D. & Nubler-Jung, K. Development 1999 Jun;126(11):2309-25. Europe PMC

Rearranging gastrulation in the name of yolk: evolution of gastrulation in yolk-rich amniote eggs. Arendt, D. & Nubler-Jung, K. Mech Dev. 1999 Mar;81(1-2):3-22. Europe PMC

Dorsoventral axis inversion: Enteropneust anatomy links invertebrates to chordates turned upside down. Nübler-Jung, K. and Arendt, D. (1999 J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res. 1999 37(2) 93-100

Dorsal or ventral: similarities in fate maps and gastrulation patterns in annelids, arthropods and chordates. Arendt, D. & Nubler-Jung, K. Mech Dev. 1997 Jan;61(1-2):7-21. Europe PMC

Enteropneusts and chordate evolution. Nübler-Jung, K. & Arendt, D. Curr Biol. 1996 Apr 1;6(4):352-3. Europe PMC

Common ground plans in early brain development in mice and flies. Arendt, D. & Nubler-Jung, K. Bioessays. 1996 Mar;18(3):255-9. Europe PMC

Inversion of dorsoventral axis? Arendt, D. & Nubler-Jung, K. Nature 1994 Sep 1;371(6492):26. Europe PMC

Blocked endocytotic uptake by the oocyte causes accumulation of vitellogenins in the haemolymph of the female-sterile mutants quitPX61 and stand stillPS34 of Drosophila. Gutzeit, H.O. & Arendt, D. Cell Tissue Res. 1994 Feb;275(2):291-8. Europe PMC

Is ventral in insects dorsal in vertebrates? A history of embryological arguments favouring axis inversion in chordate ancestors. Roux's Arch Nübler-Jung, K. and Arendt, D. (1994). Roux's Arch. Dev. Biol. 203, 357-366