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Early development of nematode embryos: differences and similarities

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image of Nematology
For more content, see Nematologica.

To determine whether embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans is typical for nematodes in general, we started to analyse in comparison several aspects of development in various nematode species. The differences we observed can be subdivided into two classes, those visible in the intact embryo and those requiring experimental interference. Particularly obvious differences of both types were revealed between C. elegans (Rhabditidae) and Acrobeloides nanus (Cephalobidae). Not only does the spatial and temporal pattern of early events differ but also that of intercellular communication and cell specification. Our data suggest that some developmental variations are characteristic for certain nematode groups and therefore may be useful as phylogenetic markers. In contrast, we detected little evidence so far for environmental influence on early developmental processes.

Pour déterminer dans quelle mesure l’embryogenèse de Caenorhabditis elegans est une caractéristique générale des nématodes, nous avons commencé l’analyse de plusieurs aspects du développement chez différentes espèces de nématodes. Les différences observées peuvent être divisées en deux catégories: celles observables chez l’embryon intact et celles nécessitant une intervention expérimentale. En particulier, des différences nettes entre les deux catégories ont été mises en évidence chez C. elegans (Rhabditidae) et Acrobeloides nanus (Cephalobidae). Diffèrent non seulement le schéma spatio-temporel des évènements précoces, mais également la communication intercellulaire et la différenciation cellulaire. Nos données suggèrent que certaines variations du développement sont caractéristiques de certains groupes de nématodes et pourraient donc être utiles comme marqueurs phylogénétiques. A contrario, une influence de l’environnement sur les processus précoces du développement n’a pas, jusqu’à présent, été détectée.


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