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Gastrulation in the sea urchin

McClay, David R. and Warner, Jacob and Martik, Megan and Miranda, Esther and Slota, Leslie (2019) Gastrulation in the sea urchin. In: Gastrulation: From Embryonic Pattern to Form. Current Topics in Developmental Biology. No.136. Academic Press , Cambridge, pp. 195-218. ISBN 978-0-12-812798-8.

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Gastrulation is arguably the most important evolutionary innovation in the animal kingdom. This process provides the basic embryonic architecture, an inner layer separated from an outer layer, from which all animal forms arise. An extraordinarily simple and elegant process of gastrulation is observed in the sea urchin embryo. The cells participating in sea urchin gastrulation are specified early during cleavage. One outcome of that specification is the expression of transcription factors that control each of the many subsequent morphogenetic changes. The first of these movements is an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of skeletogenic mesenchyme cells, then EMT of pigment cell progenitors. Shortly thereafter, invagination of the archenteron occurs. At the end of archenteron extension, a second wave of EMT occurs to release immune cells into the blastocoel and primordial germ cells that will home to the coelomic pouches. The archenteron then remodels to establish the three parts of the gut, and at the anterior end, the gut fuses with the stomodaeum to form the through-gut. As part of the anterior remodeling, mesodermal coelomic pouches bud off the lateral sides of the archenteron tip. Multiple cell biological processes conduct each of these movements and in some cases the upstream transcription factors controlling this process have been identified. Remarkably, each event seamlessly occurs at the right time to orchestrate formation of the primitive body plan. This review covers progress toward understanding many of the molecular mechanisms underlying this sequence of morphogenetic events.

Item Type:Book Section
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Martik, Megan0000-0003-1186-4085
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Available online 22 October 2019. The authors thank Esther Miranda for her technical support in all aspects of the research. We also thank the members of the McClay lab for their advice and input. Support for this project was provided by: NIH RO1 HD14483 (to D.R.M.), PO1 HD37105 (to D.R.M.), and NSF fellowship support (to L.S.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHRO1 HD14483
NIHPO1 HD37105
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Sea urchin; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Convergent-extension; Wnt; Primordial germ cells; Pigment cells
Series Name:Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Issue or Number:136
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191023-145025408
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:David R. McClay, Jacob Warner, Megan Martik, Esther Miranda, Leslie Slota, Chapter Seven - Gastrulation in the sea urchin, Editor(s): Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, Current Topics in Developmental Biology, Academic Press, Volume 136, 2020, Pages 195-218, ISSN 0070-2153, ISBN 9780128127988, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99414
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Oct 2019 23:22
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:46

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