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Mech Dev January 1, 2018; 154 2-11.

The extraordinary biology and development of marsupial frogs (Hemiphractidae) in comparison with fish, mammals, birds, amphibians and other animals.

The study of oogenesis and early development of frogs belonging to the family Hemiphractidae provide important comparison to the aquatic development of other frogs, such as Xenopus laevis, because reproduction on land characterizes the Hemiphractidae. In this review, the multinucleated oogenesis of the marsupial frog Flectonotus pygmaeus (Hemiphractidae) is analyzed and interpreted. In addition, the adaptations associated with the incubation of embryos in the pouch of the female marsupial frog Gastrotheca riobambae (Hemiphractidae) and the embryonic development of this frog are summarized. Moreover, G. riobambae gastrulation is compared with the gastrulation modes of Engystomops randi and Engystomops coloradorum (Leptodactylidae); Ceratophrys stolzmanni (Ceratophryidae); Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni and Espadarana callistomma (Centrolenidae); Ameerega bilinguis, Dendrobates auratus, Epipedobates anthonyi, Epipedobates machalilla, Epipedobates tricolor, and Hyloxalus vertebralis (Dendrobatidae); Eleutherodactylus coqui (Terrarana: Eleutherodactylidae), and X. laevis (Pipidae). The comparison indicated two modes of frog gastrulation. In X. laevis and in frogs with aquatic reproduction, convergent extension begins during gastrulation. In contrast, convergent extension occurs in the post-gastrula of frogs with terrestrial reproduction. These two modes of gastrulation resemble the transitions toward meroblastic cleavage found in ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii). In spite of this difference, the genes that guide early development seem to be highly conserved in frogs. I conclude that the shift of convergent extension to the post-gastrula accompanied the diversification of frog egg size and terrestrial reproductive modes.

PubMed ID: 29305906
Article link: Mech Dev

Genes referenced: myod1 tbxt
GO keywords: gastrulation (sensu Vertebrata) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions

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