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Hox genes are essential for growth and patterning of the tetrapod limb skeleton. Mice mutant for the Hoxd-13 gene have an important delay in morphogenesis owing to reduced proliferation. Based on the appearance of atavisms in such mice, we suggested that modifications of Hox gene regulation may have been a source of morphological variation during the(More)
Somite formation involves the establishment of a segmental prepattern in the presomitic mesoderm, anteroposterior patterning of each segmental primordium and formation of boundaries between adjacent segments. How these events are co-ordinated remains uncertain. In this study, analysis of expression of zebrafish mesp-a reveals that each segment acquires(More)
The distribution of FMRFamide-like immunoreactive (ir) neurons and fibers was investigated in the central nervous system of developing zebrafish and juvenile sturgeon (sterlet). Adult zebrafish was also studied. In zebrafish embryos FMRFamide-ir elements first appeared 30 h post-fertilization (PF). Ir somata were located in the olfactory placode and in the(More)
In tetrapods, Hox genes are essential for the proper organization and development of axial structures. Experiments involving Hox gene inactivations have revealed their particularly important functions in the establishment of morphological transitions within metameric series such as the vertebral column. Teleost fish show a much simpler range of axial (trunk(More)
The wealth of expression and functional data presented in this overview discloses the homeogene Orthopedia (Otp) as critical for the development of the hypothalamic neuroendocrine system of vertebrates. Specifically, the results depict the up-to-date portrait of the regulation and functions of Otp. The development of neuroendocrine nuclei relies on Otp from(More)
A number of studies have suggested that retinoic acid (RA) is an important signal for patterning the hindbrain, the branchial arches and the limb bud. Retinoic acid is thought to act on the posterior hindbrain and the limb buds at somitogenesis stages in chick and mouse embryos. Here we report a much earlier requirement for RA signalling during(More)
Vertebrate Hox genes are required for the establishment of regional identities along body axes. This gene family is strongly conserved among vertebrates, even in bony fish which display less complex ranges of axial morphologies. We have analysed the structural organization and expression of Abd-B related zebrafish HoxA cluster genes (Hoxa-9, Hoxa-10,(More)
BACKGROUND The study of ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of basal chordates. To provide further information to support forward genetics in Ciona intestinalis, we used a combination of natural variation and neutral population genetics as an approach for the systematic(More)
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is expressed in differentiating and post-mitotic neurons of the zebrafish embryo, where it has been implicated in Huntington's disease. Little is known, however, about the full complement of neuronal cell types that express BDNF in this important vertebrate model. Here, we further explored the(More)
BACKGROUND The tunicate Ciona intestinalis (Enterogona, Ascidiacea), a major model system for evolutionary and developmental genetics of chordates, harbours two cryptic species. To assess the degree of intra- and inter-specific genetic variability, we report the identification and analysis of C. intestinalis SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) markers. A(More)