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A Unifying Model for the Origin of the Vertebrate Organizer

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The process of vertebrate gastrulation is initiated and directed by a localized group of cells called the organizer. The events leading to formation of the organizer have been best studied in amphibian embryos. There, redistribution of subcellular components following fertilization brings about the localized activation of maternal determinants, which are subsequently distributed to a subset of vegetal cells. The vegetal cells that inherit these determinants acquire the ability to induce organizer activity in neighboring tissue. I propose here that a similar series of molecular events is responsible for the induction of organizer tissue in teleost and avian embryos. In addition, how an initially homogeneous population of organizer cells might differentiate into specialized subpopulations is explored.

Affiliations: 1: ( Department of Human Genetics, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA


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