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Development 1991 Aug 01;1124:1103-14.
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Autonomous differentiation of dorsal axial structures from an animal cap cleavage stage blastomere in Xenopus.

Gallagher BC , Hainski AM , Moody SA .

Dorsal or ventral blastomeres of the 16- and 32-cell stage animal hemisphere were labeled with a lineage dye and transplanted into the position of a ventral, vegetal midline blastomere. The donor blastomeres normally give rise to substantial amounts of head structures and central nervous system, whereas the blastomere which they replaced normally gives rise to trunk mesoderm and endoderm. The clones derived from the transplanted ventral blastomeres were found in tissues appropriate for their new position, whereas those derived from the transplanted dorsal blastomeres were found in tissues appropriate for their original position. The transplanted dorsal clones usually migrated into the host's primary axis (D1.1, 92%; D1.1.1, 69%; D1.1.2, 100%), and in many cases they also induced and populated a secondary axis (D1.1, 43%; D1.1.1, 67%; D1.1.2, 63%). Bilateral deletion of the dorsal blastomeres resulted in partial deficits of dorsal axial structures in the majority of cases, whereas deletions of ventral midline blastomeres did not. When the dorsal blastomeres were cultured as explants they elongated. Notochord and cement glands frequently differentiated in these explants. These studies show that the progeny of the dorsal, midline, animal blastomeres: (1) follow their normal lineage program to populate dorsal axial structures after the blastomere is transplanted to the opposite pole of the embryo; (2) induce and contribute to a secondary axis from their transplanted position in many embryos; (3) are important for the normal formation of the entire length of the dorsal axis; and (4) autonomously differentiate in the absence of exogenous growth factor signals. These data indicate that by the 16-cell stage, these blastomeres have received instructions regarding their fate, and they are intrinsically capable of carrying out some of their developmental program.

PubMed ID: 1935699

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