Editors' ChoiceAnimal Development

Keeping tissue layers separate

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Science  02 Dec 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1115-1116
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6316.1115-e

Corals share gastrulation signals for mouth-anus development with vertebrates.


Keeping tissue layers separate Gastrulation is the conversion of an embryo from a single sheet of pluripotent cells into a structure with multiple tissue layers. This process establishes the future body plan and is highly conserved among metazoans. In vertebrate embryos, the transcription factor Brachyury delineates the middle tissue layer (the mesoderm) from the outer (ectoderm) and the inner (endoderm) layers. Yasuoka et al. discovered that in coral embryos, which lack a mesoderm, brachyury is regulated by the same signaling pathway as that found in vertebrates. In corals, it demarcates ectoderm from endoderm and is essential for the development of the mouth-anus

Curr. Biol. 26, 2885 (2016).

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