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The Draft Genome of Ciona intestinalis: Insights into Chordate and Vertebrate Origins
The first chordates appear in the fossil record at the time of the Cambrian explosion, nearly 550 million years ago. The modern ascidian tadpole represents a plausible approximation to these… Expand
Gene expression profiles of transcription factors and signaling molecules in the ascidian embryo: towards a comprehensive understanding of gene networks
Achieving a real understanding of animal development obviously requires a comprehensive rather than partial identification of the genes working in each developmental process. Recent decoding of… Expand
Regulatory Blueprint for a Chordate Embryo
Ciona is an emerging model system for elucidating gene networks in development. Comprehensive in situ hybridization assays have identified 76 regulatory genes with localized expression patterns in… Expand
The ascidian Mesp gene specifies heart precursor cells
Understanding the molecular basis of heart development is an important research area, because malformation of the cardiovascular system is among the most frequent inborn defects. Although recent… Expand
(beta)-catenin mediates the specification of endoderm cells in ascidian embryos.
In the present study, we addressed the role of (beta)-catenin in the specification of embryonic cells of the ascidians Ciona intestinalis and C. savignyi and obtained the following results: (1)… Expand
Early embryonic expression of FGF4/6/9 gene and its role in the induction of mesenchyme and notochord in Ciona savignyi embryos.
In early Ciona savignyi embryos, nuclear localization of beta-catenin is the first step of endodermal cell specification, and triggers the activation of various target genes. A cDNA for Cs-FGF4/6/9,… Expand
Multiple functions of a Zic-like gene in the differentiation of notochord, central nervous system and muscle in Ciona savignyi embryos.
Multiple functions of a Zic-like zinc finger transcription factor gene (Cs-ZicL) were identified in Ciona savignyi embryos. cDNA clones for Cs-ZicL, a beta-catenin downstream genes, were isolated and… Expand
Gene regulatory networks underlying the compartmentalization of the Ciona central nervous system
The tripartite organization of the central nervous system (CNS) may be an ancient character of the bilaterians. However, the elaboration of the more complex vertebrate brain depends on the… Expand
Region specific gene expressions in the central nervous system of the ascidian embryo
The vertebrate brain is regionalized during development into forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) is expressed in the midbrain/hindbrain boundary (MHB) and functions… Expand
An essential role of a FoxD gene in notochord induction in Ciona embryos.
A key issue for understanding the early development of the chordate body plan is how the endoderm induces notochord formation. In the ascidian Ciona, nuclear accumulation of beta-catenin is the first… Expand