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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-070629-20
Developmental and morphological variation in the teleost craniofacial skeleton reveals an unusual mode of ossification
Franz-Odendaal, T.A., Ryan, K., and Hall, B.K.
Date: 2007
Source: Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution 308B(6): 709-721 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Franz-Odendaal, Tamara, Hall, Brian K.
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Ear Ossicles/anatomy & histology
  • Ear Ossicles/growth & development
  • Fishes/anatomy & histology*
  • Fishes/growth & development*
  • Osteogenesis/physiology*
  • Skull/anatomy & histology*
  • Skull/growth & development*
PubMed: 17577202 Full text @ J. Exp. Zool. B Mol. Dev. Evol.
We investigated the morphology and development of the scleral ossicles within the eyes of three species from three basal teleost orders, namely, the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus; Clupeiformes), the surface morph of the Mexican tetra (Astyanax mexicanus; Characiformes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio; Cypriniformes). Two morphologies, circular and elongated, and one variation, fused elements, were identified. Zebrafish have small circular ossicles, whereas the alewife and the Mexican tetra have elongated ossicles. Surprisingly in the Mexican tetra these elements fuse at one end forming a continuous element with an antero-ventral opening; this may be typical for the Order Characiformes. Regardless of morphology, the ossicles develop via unilateral perichondral ossification of the scleral cartilage from two centers opposite one another in the eye. This unilateral type of ossification, in which only the perichondrium furthest from the retina contributes to the ossicles, has not previously been reported in any vertebrate. Because either the perichondrium and/or an extension of the perichondrium can transform into the scleral ossicle, we refer to the transitional tissue as periskeletal. Although the functional significance of the different shaped ossicles is unclear, skeletal muscle attaches directly to these bones, implying voluntary control. The morphological and developmental variation of teleost scleral ossicles makes them an ideal system for determining the genetic basis underlying phenotypic variation as well as for studying mechanisms underlying osteogenic and chondrogenic processes in teleosts. These data support our previous finding that scleral ossicles in teleosts may not be homologous to those in other vertebrates, such as reptiles.