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The origin of paired appendages was a major evolutionary innovation for vertebrates, marking the first step towards fin- (and later limb-) driven locomotion. The earliest vertebrate fossils lack paired fins but have well-developed median fins, suggesting that the mechanisms of fin development were assembled first in the midline. Here we show that shark(More)
The evolutionary transition of fins to limbs involved development of a new suite of distal skeletal structures, the digits. During tetrapod limb development, genes at the 5' end of the HoxD cluster are expressed in two spatiotemporally distinct phases. In the first phase, Hoxd9-13 are activated sequentially and form nested domains along the anteroposterior(More)
Vertebrates have evolved electrosensory receptors that detect electrical stimuli on the surface of the skin and transmit them somatotopically to the brain. In chondrichthyans, the electrosensory system is composed of a cephalic network of ampullary organs, known as the ampullae of Lorenzini, that can detect extremely weak electric fields during hunting and(More)
The Eph family is the largest known group of structurally related receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). Each Eph receptor has a specific Ephrin ligand, and these function to define spatial boundaries during development. Analyses of EphA4 in mouse, chick, frog and zebrafish embryos have implicated this gene in a number of developmental processes, including(More)
The locomotory appendages of vertebrates have undergone significant changes during evolution, which likely promoted a wide range of adaptive strategies. These appendages first evolved as unpaired finfolds in the dorsal midline of early chordates, more than 500 million years ago. Later on, during vertebrates' radiation, two sets of locomotory appendages(More)
HoxA genes encode for important DNA-binding transcription factors that act during limb development, regulating primarily gene expression and, consequently, morphogenesis and skeletal differentiation. Within these genes, HoxA11 and HoxA13 were proposed to have played an essential role in the enigmatic evolutionary transition from fish fins to tetrapod limbs.(More)
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