Albert, S., Müller, F., Fischer, N., Biellmann, D., Neumann, C., Blader, P., and Strähle, U. (2003) Cyclops-independent floor plate differentiation in zebrafish embryos. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 226(1):59-66.
In zebrafish, development of the ventral neural tube depends on the Nodal-related signal Cyclops (Cyc). One-day-old cyc mutant embryos lack the medial floor plate (MFP). We show here that cells expressing MFP marker genes differentiate gradually in cyc mutant embryos in a delayed manner during the second day of development. This late differentiation is restricted to the hindbrain and spinal cord and depends on an intact Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway. Cells expressing MFP marker genes in cyc mutant embryos appear to be derived from lateral floor plate (LFP) cells as they coexpress LFP and MFP marker genes. This finding suggests that the correct temporal development of the MFP is required for the distinction of LFP and MFP cells in wild-type embryos.