Ralf Janssen

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The Wnt genes encode secreted glycoprotein ligands that regulate a wide range of developmental processes, including axis elongation and segmentation. There are thirteen subfamilies of Wnt genes in metazoans and this gene diversity appeared early in animal evolution. The loss of Wnt subfamilies appears to be common in insects, but little is known about the(More)
We have isolated the ten Hox genes from the pill millipede Glomeris marginata (Myriapoda:Diplopoda). All ten genes are expressed in characteristic Hox-gene-like expression patterns. The register of Hox gene expression borders is conserved and the expression profiles show that the anterior-most limb-bearing segment in arthropods (antennal/cheliceral segment)(More)
Leg development in Drosophila has been studied in much detail. However, Drosophila limbs form in the larva as imaginal discs and not during embryogenesis as in most other arthropods. Here, we analyze appendage genes in the spider Cupiennius salei and the beetle Tribolium castaneum. Differences in decapentaplegic (dpp) expression suggest a different mode of(More)
Diplopods (millipedes) are known for their irregular body segmentation. Most importantly, the number of dorsal segmental cuticular plates (tergites) does not match the number of ventral structures (e.g., sternites). Controversial theories exist to explain the origin of this so-called diplosegmentation. We have studied the embryology of a representative(More)
The activation of pair rule genes is the first indication of the metameric organization of the Drosophila embryo and thus forms a key step in the segmentation process. There are two classes of pair rule genes in Drosophila: the primary pair rule genes that are directly activated by the maternal and gap genes and the secondary pair rule genes that rely on(More)
The fate of the blastopore during development in the bilaterian ancestor is currently not well understood. In deuterostomes, the blastopore forms the anus, but its fate in protostome groups is variable. This variability, combined with an absence of information from key taxa, hampers the reconstruction of the ancestral developmental mode of the Protostomia(More)
The arthropod head problem has puzzled zoologists for more than a century. The head of adult arthropods is a complex structure resulting from the modification, fusion and migration of an uncertain number of segments. In contrast, onychophorans, which are the probable sister group to the arthropods, have a rather simple head comprising three segments that(More)
Segmentation is a hallmark of the arthropods; most knowledge about the molecular basis of arthropod segmentation comes from work on the fly Drosophila melanogaster. In this species a hierarchic cascade of segmentation genes subdivides the blastoderm stepwise into single segment wide regions. However, segmentation in the fly is a derived feature since all(More)
The early cleavage up to gastrulation is described here for the priapulid worm Priapulus caudatus, contradicting and clarifying earlier partial reports on this topic. The cleavage pattern up to gastrulation is highly symmetrical, total, subequal, radial, and stereotypical. Gastrulation is intermediate between epiboly and invagination, and the mesendoderm(More)
In arthropods, such as Drosophila melanogaster, the leg gap genes homothorax (hth), extradenticle (exd), dachshund (dac), and Distal-less (Dll) regionalize the legs in order to facilitate the subsequent segmentation of the legs. We have isolated homologs of all four leg gap genes from the onychophoran Euperipatoides kanangrensis and have studied their(More)