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Transgenesis with transposons is an important technique for studying genetic functions. In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, methods for germline transformation with the Tc1/mariner transposon Minos have been established. A system to remobilize a single Minos copy in the genome is needed to refine this transgenic technique. In this study, such an(More)
In animal development, secreted signaling molecules evoke all-or-none threshold responses of target gene transcription to specify cell fates. In the chordate Ciona intestinalis, the neural markers Otx and Nodal are induced at early embryonic stages by Fgf9/16/20 signaling. Here we show that three additional signaling molecules act negatively to generate a(More)
Despite containing only approximately 330 cells, the central nervous system (CNS) of Ciona intestinalis larvae has an architecture that is similar to the vertebrate CNS. Although only vertebrates have a distinct hypothalamus-the source of numerous neurohormone peptides that play pivotal roles in the development, function, and maintenance of various neuronal(More)
A complex system of multiple signaling molecules often produce differential gene expression patterns in animal embryos. In the ascidian embryo, four signaling ligands, Ephrin-A.d (Efna.d), Fgf9/16/20, Admp, and Gdf1/3-r, coordinately induce Otx expression in the neural lineage at the 32-cell stage. However, it has not been determined whether differential(More)
Our previous transcriptome analysis identified 565 genes that are preferentially expressed in the developing brain of Ciona intestinalis larvae. Here, we show by in-situ hybridization that the spatial expression patterns of these brain-specific genes fall into different categories depending on the regions where the gene is expressed. For example, Ci-opsin3(More)
The adult of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis has cupular organs, i.e., putative hydrodynamic sensors, at the atrial epithelium. The cupular organ consists of support cells and sensory neurons, and it extends a gelatinous matrix, known as a cupula, toward the atrial cavity. These characteristics are shared with sensory hair cells in the vertebrate inner ear(More)
BACKGROUND Gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRHs) are neuropeptides that play central roles in the reproduction of vertebrates. In the ascidian Ciona intestinalis, GnRHs and their receptors are expressed in the nervous systems at the larval stage, when animals are not yet capable of reproduction, suggesting that the hormones have non-reproductive roles. (More)
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