Cell Lineage of the Ilyanassa Embryo: Evolutionary Acceleration of Regional Differentiation during Early Development
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Cell lineage studies in mollusk embryos have documented numerous variations on the lophotrochozoan theme of spiral cleavage. In the experimentally tractable embryo of the mud snail Ilyanassa, cell lineage has previously been described only up to the 29-cell stage. Here I provide a chronology of cell divisions in Ilyanassa to the stage of 84 cells (about 16 hours after first cleavage at 23°C), and show spatial arrangements of identified nuclei at stages ranging from 27 to 84 cells. During this period the spiral cleavage pattern gives way to a bilaterally symmetric, dorsoventrally polarized pattern of mitotic timing and geometry. At the same time, the mesentoblast cell 4d rapidly proliferates to form twelve cells lying deep to the dorsal ectoderm. The onset of epiboly coincides with a period of mitotic quiescence throughout the ectoderm. As in other gastropod embryos, cell cycle lengths vary widely and predictably according to cell identity, and many of the longest cell cycles occur in small daughters of highly asymmetric divisions. While Ilyanassa shares many features of embryonic cell lineage with two other caenogastropod genera, Crepidula and Bithynia, it is distinguished by a general tendency toward earlier and more pronounced diversification of cell division pattern along axes of later differential growth.
CitationGoulding MQ (2009) Cell Lineage of the Ilyanassa Embryo: Evolutionary Acceleration of Regional Differentiation during Early Development. PLoS ONE 4(5): e5506. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005506
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