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Dev Cell 2011 Apr 19;204:483-96. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.03.015.
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Mapping gene expression in two Xenopus species: evolutionary constraints and developmental flexibility.

Yanai I , Peshkin L , Jorgensen P , Kirschner MW .

Changes in gene expression are thought to be important for morphological evolution, though little is known about the nature or magnitude of the differences. Here, we examine Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis, two amphibians with very similar development, and ask how their transcriptomes compare. Despite separation for ~30-90 million years, there is strong conservation in gene expression in the vast majority of the expressed orthologs. Significant changes occur in the level of gene expression but changes in the timing of expression (heterochrony) were much less common. Differences in level were concentrated in the earliest embryonic stages. Changes in timing were prominently found in pathways that respond to selective features of the environment. We propose that different evolutionary rates across developmental stages may be explained by the stabilization of cell fate determination in the later stages.

PubMed ID: 21497761
PMC ID: PMC3118554
Article link: Dev Cell
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: c6.1 c6.2 c8a c8b c9 cfd cpn1 cygb fgf8 gli3 grap2 hoxb3 krt12.5 krt24 krt51 nog nog2 notch1 orai2 pax6 rdh16 shh wnt11

GEO Series: GSE27227: NCBI

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Ambros, MicroRNA pathways in flies and worms: growth, death, fat, stress, and timing. 2003, Pubmed