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Dev Genes Evol 2023 Jun 01;2331:1-12. doi: 10.1007/s00427-023-00701-1.
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The complete dorsal structure is formed from only the blastocoel roof of Xenopus blastula: insight into the gastrulation movement evolutionarily conserved among chordates.

Sato Y , Narasaki I , Kunimoto T , Moriyama Y , Hashimoto C .

Gastrulation is a critical event whose molecular mechanisms are thought to be conserved among vertebrates. However, the morphological movement during gastrulation appears to be divergent across species, making it difficult to discuss the evolution of the process. Previously, we proposed a novel amphibian gastrulation model, the "subduction and zippering (S&Z) model". In this model, the organizer and the prospective neuroectoderm are originally localized in the blastula's blastocoel roof, and these embryonic regions move downward to make physical contact of their inner surfaces with each other at the dorsal marginal zone. The developmental stage when contact between the head organizer and the anterior-most neuroectoderm is established is called "anterior contact establishment (ACE)." After ACE, the A-P body axis elongates posteriorly. According to this model, the body axis is derived from limited regions of the dorsal marginal zone at ACE. To investigate this possibility, we conducted stepwise tissue deletions using Xenopus laevis embryos and revealed that the dorsal one-third of the marginal zone had the ability to form the complete dorsal structure by itself. Furthermore, a blastocoel roof explant of the blastula, which should contain the organizer and the prospective neuroectoderm in the S&Z model, autonomously underwent gastrulation and formed the complete dorsal structure. Collectively, these results are consistent with the S&Z gastrulation model and identify the embryonic region sufficient for construction of the complete dorsal structure. Finally, by comparing amphibian gastrulation to gastrulation of protochordates and amniotes, we discuss the gastrulation movement evolutionarily conserved among chordates.

PubMed ID: 36933042
PMC ID: PMC10239386
Article link: Dev Genes Evol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: chrd.1 egr2 foxg1 gsc hes4 myod1 otx2 pax6 rax tbxt
GO keywords: anterior head development

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