The organizer in evolution–gastrulation and organizer gene expression highlight the importance of Brachyury during development of the coral, Acropora millepora

Hayward, David C., Grasso, Lauretta C., Saint, Robert, Miller, David J., and Ball, Eldon E. (2015) The organizer in evolution–gastrulation and organizer gene expression highlight the importance of Brachyury during development of the coral, Acropora millepora. Developmental Biology, 399 (2). pp. 337-347.

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Abstract

Organizer activity, once thought to be restricted to vertebrates, has ancient origins. However, among non-bilaterians, it has only been subjected to detailed investigation during embryonic development of the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis. As a step toward establishing the extent to which findings in Nematostella can be generalized across the large and diverse phylum Cnidaria, we examined the expression of some key organizer and gastrulation genes during the embryonic development of the coral Acropora millepora. Although anemones and corals both belong to the cnidarian class Anthozoa, the two lineages diverged during the Cambrian and the morphological development of Acropora differs in several important respects from that of Nematostella. While the expression patterns of the key genes brachyury, bmp2/4, chordin, goosecoid and forkhead are broadly similar, developmental differences between the two species enable novel observations, and new interpretations of their significance. Specifically, brachyury expression during the flattened prawnchip stage before gastrulation, a developmental peculiarity of Acropora, leads us to suggest that it is the key gene demarcating ectoderm from endoderm in Acropora, and by implication in other cnidarians, whereas previous studies in Nematostella proposed that forkhead plays this role. Other novel observations include the transient expression of Acropora forkhead in scattered ectodermal cells shortly after gastrulation, and in the developing mesenterial filaments, with no corresponding expression reported in Nematostella. In addition, the expression patterns of goosecoid and bmp2/4 confirm the fundamental bilaterality of the Anthozoa.

Item ID: 42007
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coral, acropora, nematostella, brachyury, organizer, gastrulation
ISSN: 1095-564X
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Centre for Molecular Genetics of Development, Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Projects and Grants: ARC DP0209460, ARC DP0344483, ARC DP1095343
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 16:20
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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