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Elife. March 27, 2017; 6

Insights into electrosensory organ development, physiology and evolution from a lateral line-enriched transcriptome.

Modrell MS , Lyne M , Carr AR , Zakon HH , Buckley D , Campbell AS , Davis MC , Micklem G , Baker CV .

The anamniote lateral line system, comprising mechanosensory neuromasts and electrosensory ampullary organs, is a useful model for investigating the developmental and evolutionary diversification of different organs and cell types. Zebrafish neuromast development is increasingly well understood, but neither zebrafish nor Xenopus is electroreceptive and our molecular understanding of ampullary organ development is rudimentary. We have used RNA-seq to generate a lateral line-enriched gene-set from late-larval paddlefish (Polyodon spathula). Validation of a subset reveals expression in developing ampullary organs of transcription factor genes critical for hair cell development, and genes essential for glutamate release at hair cell ribbon synapses, suggesting close developmental, physiological and evolutionary links between non-teleost electroreceptors and hair cells. We identify an ampullary organ-specific proneural transcription factor, and candidates for the voltage-sensing L-type Cav channel and rectifying Kv channel predicted from skate (cartilaginous fish) ampullary organ electrophysiology. Overall, our results illuminate ampullary organ development, physiology and evolution.

PubMed ID: 28346141
PMC ID: PMC5429088
Article link: Elife.
Grant support: BB/F00818X/1 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Genes referenced: atoh1 cacna1d cacnb2 cav1 ctbp2 kcna5 kcnab3 lhx3 myt1 neurod4 pou4f1 pou4f3 pvalb.1 sox1 sox2

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