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To explore the origins and consequences of tetraploidy in the African clawed frog, we sequenced the Xenopus laevis genome and compared it to the related diploid X. tropicalis genome. We characterize the allotetraploid origin of X. laevis by partitioning its genome into two homoeologous subgenomes, marked by distinct families of 'fossil' transposable(More)
Lens development is a stepwise process accompanied by the sequential activation of transcription factors. Transcription factor genes can be classified into three groups according to their functions: the first group comprises preplacodal genes, which are implicated in the formation of the preplacodal ectoderm that serves as a common primordium for cranial(More)
Locomotion mediated by skeletal muscle provides a basis for the behavioral repertoire of most animals. Embryological and genetic studies of mouse, bird, fish and frog embryos are providing insights into the functions of the myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) and the signaling molecules that regulate activity of MRFs. Nevertheless, our understanding of(More)
Skeletal muscle differentiation requires assembly of contractile proteins into organized myofibrils. The Drosophila ladybird homeobox gene (lad) functions in founder cells of the segmental border muscle to promote myoblast fusion and muscle shaping. Tetrapods have two homologous genes (Lbx). Lbx1 functions in migration and/or proliferation of hypaxial(More)
BACKGROUND In limb regeneration of amphibians, the early steps leading to blastema formation are critical for the success of regeneration, and the initiation of regeneration in an adult limb requires the presence of nerves. Xenopus laevis tadpoles can completely regenerate an amputated limb at the early limb bud stage, and the metamorphosed young adult also(More)
Sharp borders between cells with different developmental fates are important for patterning of invertebrates, but are not well understood in vertebrates. Zebrafish slow muscle cells develop from adaxial cells, a one-cell-diameter-thick pseudo-epithelium immediately adjacent to the notochord. Hedgehog (Hh) signals from notochord specify adaxial cells to form(More)
We explored the molecular mechanisms of morphological transformations of vertebrate paired fin/limb evolution by comparative gene expression profiling and functional analyses. In this study, we focused on the temporal differences of the onset of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) expression in paired appendages among different vertebrates. In limb buds of chick and(More)
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling is necessary for both proliferation and differentiation of lens cells. However, the molecular mechanisms by which FGFs exert their effects on the lens remain poorly understood. In this study, we show that FGF-2 repressed the expression of lens-specific genes at the proliferative phase in primary cultured lens cells.(More)
Introduction of biomolecules into cells in living animals is one of the most important techniques in molecular and developmental biology research, and has potentially broad biomedical implications. Here we report that biomolecules can be introduced into single cells in living vertebrate embryos by photoporation using a femtosecond laser amplifier with a(More)
Various senses and sensory nerve architectures of animals have evolved during adaptation to exploit diverse environments. In craniates, the trunk sensory system has evolved from simple mechanosensory neurons inside the spinal cord (intramedullary), called Rohon-Beard (RB) cells, to multimodal sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) outside the spinal(More)