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Lineage and fate of each blastomere of the eight-cell sea urchin embryo.

Authors
  • Cameron, R A
  • Hough-Evans, B R
  • Britten, R J
  • Davidson, E H
Type
Published Article
Journal
Genes & Development
Publisher
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1987
Volume
1
Issue
1
Pages
75–85
Identifiers
PMID: 2448185
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

A fluoresceinated lineage tracer was injected into individual blastomeres of eight-cell sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos, and the location of the progeny of each blastomere was determined in the fully developed pluteus. Each blastomere gives rise to a unique portion of the advanced embryo. We confirm many of the classical assignments of cell fate along the animal-vegetal axis of the cleavage-stage embryo, and demonstrate that one blastomere of the animal quartet at the eight-cell stage lies nearest the future oral pole and the opposite one nearest the future aboral pole of the embryo. Clones of cells deriving from ectodermal founder cells always remain contiguous, while clones of cells descendant from the vegetal plate (i.e., gut, secondary mesenchyme) do not. The locations of ectodermal clones contributed by specific blastomeres require that the larval plane of bilateral symmetry lie approximately equidistant (i.e., at a 45 degree angle) from each of the first two cleavage planes. These results underscore the conclusion that many of the early spatial patterns of differential gene expression observed at the molecular level are specified in a clonal manner early in embryonic sea urchin development, and are each confined to cell lineages established during cleavage.

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