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Dev Biol 1999 Sep 15;2132:354-69. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9404.
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Loss of ectodermal competence for lateral line placode formation in the direct developing frog Eleutherodactylus coqui.

Schlosser G , Kintner C , Northcutt RG .

In the direct-developing frog Eleutherodactylus coqui neuromasts and ganglia of the lateral line system never develop. We show here that this absence of the lateral line system, which is evolutionarily derived in anurans, is due to very early changes in development. Ectodermal thickenings, which are typical of lateral line placodes, and from which neuromasts and ganglion cells of the lateral line originate, never form in E. coqui, although other neurogenic placodes are present. Moreover, although NeuroD is expressed in the lateral line placodes of Xenopus laevis, corresponding expression sites are lacking in E. coqui. Heterospecific transplantation experiments show that axolotl ectoderm can be induced to form lateral line placodes after transplantation to E. coqui hosts but that E. coqui ectoderm does not form lateral line placodes on axolotl hosts. This suggests that the loss of the lateral line system in E. coqui is due to the specific loss of ectodermal competence to form lateral line placodes in response to inductive signals. Our results (1) indicate that the competence for lateral line placode formation is distinct and dissociable from the competence to form other neurogenic placodes and (2) support the idea that the lateral line system acts as a module in development and evolution.

PubMed ID: 10479453
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: neurod1 tbx2

Article Images: [+] show captions