ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-190719-10
Gene profiling of head mesoderm in early zebrafish development: insights into the evolution of cranial mesoderm
Wang, H., Holland, P.W.H., Takahashi, T.
Date: 2019
Source: EvoDevo   10: 14 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Takahashi, Tokiharu
Keywords: Amphioxus, Anterior lateral plate mesoderm, Cardiopharyngeal field, Cranial lateral mesoderm, Cranial paraxial mesoderm, Head mesoderm, Head segmentation, Pharyngeal mesoderm, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms: none
PubMed: 31312422 Full text @ EvoDevo
The evolution of the head was one of the key events that marked the transition from invertebrates to vertebrates. With the emergence of structures such as eyes and jaws, vertebrates evolved an active and predatory life style and radiated into diversity of large-bodied animals. These organs are moved by cranial muscles that derive embryologically from head mesoderm. Compared with other embryonic components of the head, such as placodes and cranial neural crest cells, our understanding of cranial mesoderm is limited and is restricted to few species.
Here, we report the expression patterns of key genes in zebrafish head mesoderm at very early developmental stages. Apart from a basic anterior-posterior axis marked by a combination of pitx2 and tbx1 expression, we find that most gene expression patterns are poorly conserved between zebrafish and chick, suggesting fewer developmental constraints imposed than in trunk mesoderm. Interestingly, the gene expression patterns clearly show the early establishment of medial-lateral compartmentalisation in zebrafish head mesoderm, comprising a wide medial zone flanked by two narrower strips.
In zebrafish head mesoderm, there is no clear molecular regionalisation along the anteroposterior axis as previously reported in chick embryos. In contrast, the medial-lateral regionalisation is formed at early developmental stages. These patterns correspond to the distinction between paraxial mesoderm and lateral plate mesoderm in the trunk, suggesting a common groundplan for patterning head and trunk mesoderm. By comparison of these expression patterns to that of amphioxus homologues, we argue for an evolutionary link between zebrafish head mesoderm and amphioxus anteriormost somites.