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Genesis 2017 Jan 01;551-2:. doi: 10.1002/dvg.22993.
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Xenopus, an ideal model organism to study laterality in conjoined twins.

Tisler M , Schweickert A , Blum M .

Conjoined twins occur at low frequency in all vertebrates including humans. Many twins fused at the chest or abdomen display a very peculiar laterality defect: while the left twin is normal with respect to asymmetric organ morphogenesis and placement (situs solitus), the organ situs is randomized in right twins. Although this phenomenon has fascinated already some of the founders of experimental embryology in the 19th and early 20th century, such as Dareste, Fol, Warynsky and Spemann, its embryological basis has remained enigmatic. Here we summarize historical experiments and interpretations as well as current models, argue that the frog Xenopus is the only vertebrate model organism to tackle the issue, and outline suitable experiments to address the question of twin laterality in the context of cilia-based symmetry breakage.

PubMed ID: 28132423
Article link: Genesis

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dand5 foxj1.2 fubp1 nodal nodal1 sia2

Disease Ontology terms: visceral heterotaxy

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