The presence/absence of catenin family members in species during metazoan evolution. The cladogram of metazoans on the left is based on metazoan evolution with the premetazoan choanoflagellate as the outgroup. Species have been selected in the phyla of Vertebrata, Urochordata, Arthropoda, Nematoda, and Cnidaria to represent metazoans. Vertebrata and Urochordata together formed the Chordata phylum, Arthropoda and Nematoda formed the Ecdysozoa clade, Chordata and Ecdysozoa formed the Bilateria clade, and Bilateria and Cnidaria containing Radiata formed the Metazoa clade. We applied different colors for species in different phyla, such as blue for all vertebrates, black for the urochordate sea squirt and the premetazoan choanoflagellate, green for the nematode C. elegans, brown for the arthropod fruit fly, and red for the cnidarian sea anemone. Same color patterns were applied for species from different phyla in Figure 3, Figure 4, Additional file 1, Additional file 2 and Additional file 3. Based on the species tree, we determined presence/absence of catenin family members. The table on the right side of the species tree includes all catenin genes, and each shaded green box indicates the presence of the specific gene in the particular species shown in the tree, while the white box indicates the absence of the specific gene. The partially-shaded green boxes indicate unresolved presence/absence of the delta2 and ARVCF members. These species had either a delta2 or an ARVCF but the current analyses cannot resolve the relationship.