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Mech Dev January 1, 2020; 163 103625.

Brachyury in the gastrula of basal vertebrates.

Bruce AEE , Winklbauer R .

The Brachyury gene encodes a transcription factor that is conserved across all animals. In non-chordate metazoans, brachyury is primarily expressed in ectoderm regions that are added to the endodermal gut during development, and often form a ring around the site of endoderm internalization in the gastrula, the blastopore. In chordates, this brachyury ring is conserved, but the gene has taken on a new role in the formation of the mesoderm. In this phylum, a novel type of mesoderm that develops into notochord and somites has been added to the ancestral lateral plate mesoderm. Brachyury contributes to a shift in cell fate from neural ectoderm to posterior notochord and somites during a major lineage segregation event that in Xenopus and in the zebrafish takes place in the early gastrula. In the absence of this brachyury function, impaired formation of posterior mesoderm indirectly affects the gastrulation movements of peak involution and convergent extension. These movements are confined to specific regions and stages, leaving open the question why brachyury expression in an extensive, coherent ring, before, during and after gastrulation, is conserved in the two species whose gastrulation modes differ considerably, and also in many other metazoan gastrulae of diverse structure.

PubMed ID: 32526279
Article link: Mech Dev
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: tbxt
GO keywords: cell fate determination