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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, December 1) Embryology Ectoderm. Retrieved from


Notch signaling in the division of germ layers in bilaterian embryos

Mech Dev. 2018 Dec;154:122-144. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2018.06.005. Epub 2018 Jun 22.

Favarolo MB1, López SL2. Author information Abstract Bilaterian embryos are triploblastic organisms which develop three complete germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm). While the ectoderm develops mainly from the animal hemisphere, there is diversity in the location from where the endoderm and the mesoderm arise in relation to the animal-vegetal axis, ranging from endoderm being specified between the ectoderm and mesoderm in echinoderms, and the mesoderm being specified between the ectoderm and the endoderm in vertebrates. A common feature is that part of the mesoderm segregates from an ancient bipotential endomesodermal domain. The process of segregation is noisy during the initial steps but it is gradually refined. In this review, we discuss the role of the Notch pathway in the establishment and refinement of boundaries between germ layers in bilaterians, with special focus on its interaction with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

KEYWORDS: Ectoderm; Eendomesoderm; Endoderm; Mesoderm; Notch; β-Catenin PMID: 29940277 DOI: 10.1016/j.mod.2018.06.005

Meis transcription factor maintains the neurogenic ectoderm and regulates the anterior-posterior patterning in embryos of a sea urchin, Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus

Dev Biol. 2018 Dec 1;444(1):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.09.018. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Yaguchi J1, Yamazaki A1, Yaguchi S2. Author information Abstract Precise body axis formation is an essential step in the development of multicellular organisms, for most of which the molecular gradient and/or specifically biased localization of cell-fate determinants in eggs play important roles. In sea urchins, however, any biased proteins and mRNAs have not yet been identified in the egg except for vegetal cortex molecules, suggesting that sea urchin development is mostly regulated by uniformly distributed maternal molecules with contributions to axis formation that are not well characterized. Here, we describe that the maternal Meis transcription factor regulates anterior-posterior axis formation through maintenance of the most anterior territory in embryos of a sea urchin, Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. Loss-of-function experiments revealed that Meis is intrinsically required for maintenance of the anterior neuroectoderm specifier foxQ2 after hatching and, consequently, the morphant lost anterior neuroectoderm characteristics. In addition, the expression patterns of univin and VEGF, the lateral ectoderm markers, and the mesenchyme-cell pattern shifted toward the anterior side in Meis morphants more than they did in control embryos, indicating that Meis contributes to the precise anteroposterior patterning by regulating the anterior neuroectodermal fate.

KEYWORDS: Body axis; FoxQ2; Maternal factor; Sea urchin; Wnt PMID: 30266259 DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2018.09.018


A molecular atlas of the developing ectoderm defines neural, neural crest, placode, and nonneural progenitor identity in vertebrates

PLoS Biol. 2017 Oct 19;15(10):e2004045. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004045. eCollection 2017 Oct.

Plouhinec JL1,2,3, Medina-Ruiz S4, Borday C1,2, Bernard E3,5,6, Vert JP3,5,6, Eisen MB4,7, Harland RM4, Monsoro-Burq AH1,2,8. Author information Abstract During vertebrate neurulation, the embryonic ectoderm is patterned into lineage progenitors for neural plate, neural crest, placodes and epidermis. Here, we use Xenopus laevis embryos to analyze the spatial and temporal transcriptome of distinct ectodermal domains in the course of neurulation, during the establishment of cell lineages. In order to define the transcriptome of small groups of cells from a single germ layer and to retain spatial information, dorsal and ventral ectoderm was subdivided along the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral axes by microdissections. Principal component analysis on the transcriptomes of these ectoderm fragments primarily identifies embryonic axes and temporal dynamics. This provides a genetic code to define positional information of any ectoderm sample along the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes directly from its transcriptome. In parallel, we use nonnegative matrix factorization to predict enhanced gene expression maps onto early and mid-neurula embryos, and specific signatures for each ectoderm area. The clustering of spatial and temporal datasets allowed detection of multiple biologically relevant groups (e.g., Wnt signaling, neural crest development, sensory placode specification, ciliogenesis, germ layer specification). We provide an interactive network interface, EctoMap, for exploring synexpression relationships among genes expressed in the neurula, and suggest several strategies to use this comprehensive dataset to address questions in developmental biology as well as stem cell or cancer research.

PMID: 29049289 PMCID: PMC5663519 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2004045

Pubmed Ectoderm title

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