ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-021017-55
The para-hox gene caudal is required for tail formation in zebrafish
Skromne, I., Kikuchi, Y., Stainier, D., and Ho, R.K.
In vertebrates the tailbud is responsible for the formation of the posterior body at the end of gastrulation. To date, however, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms involved in tail
bud outgrowth and differentiation. In zebrafish as in other vertebrates, expression of the homeobox gene caudal has been correlated with the establishment of posterior cell lineages. To address the
role of Caudal function in zebrafish tail development, we have used morpholino antisense technology to specifically block translation of this gene. Morpholino-injected embryos undergo gastrulation
and develop normal head and trunk structures, but fail to develop a postanal tail. Morphological and molecular analysis of affected embryos suggest that this apparently simple phenotype arises from combined defects in tissue specification, anterior/posterior axis specification, and cell movements. We are extending our analysis by undertaking cell labeling and transplantation experiments between
wild-type and morpholino-injected embryos to further understand the role Caudal may play in posterior body formation and growth.
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