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J Biosci June 1, 2018; 43 (2): 375-390.

Spiral waves and vertebrate embryonic handedness.

Durston AJ , Peres J , Cohen MH .

During early embryonic development, the vertebrate main body axis is segmented from head-to-tail into somites. Somites emerge sequentially from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM) as a consequence of oscillatory waves of genetic activity, called somitogenesis waves. Here, we discuss the implications of the dynamic patterns of early X-Delta-2 expression in the prospective somites (somitomeres) of Xenopus laevis. We report that right somitomeres normally emerge before left to form chiral structures (i.e. structures having clockwise or counter-clockwise handedness). From our observations, we infer that somitogenesis waves are normally counter-clockwise spirals, a novel dynamic mechanism for the control of handedness development in Xenopus. We propose that the same mechanism could control handedness development in all vertebrate embryos, providing a dynamical basis for the current asymmetric molecular transport model for generating left-right asymmetry.

PubMed ID: 29872025
Article link:

Genes referenced: dlc hes4 hes5.7 nodal
GO keywords: somitogenesis [+]

References [+] :
Aulehla, Oscillating signaling pathways during embryonic development. 2009, Pubmed

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