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Accession IconSRP045679

Danio rerio high resolution developmental transcriptomic time-course

Organism Icon Danio rerio
Sample Icon 106 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2000

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Classical embryological studies revealed that during mid-embryogenesis vertebrates show similar morphologies. This “phylotypic stage” has recently received support from transcriptome analyses, which have also detected similar stages in nematodes and arthropods. A conserved stage in these three phyla has led us to ask if all animals pass through a universal definitive stage as a consequence of ancestral constraints on animal development. Previous work has suggested that HOX genes may comprise such a ‘zootypic’ stage, however this hypothetical stage has hitherto resisted systematic analysis. We have examined the embryonic development of ten different animals each of a fundamentally different phylum, including a segmented worm, a flatworm, a roundworm, a water bear, a fruitfly, a sea urchin, a zebrafish, a sea anemone, a sponge, and a comb jelly. For each species, we collected the embryonic transcriptomes at ~100 different developmental stages and analyzed their gene expression profiles. We found dynamic gene expression across all of the species that is structured in a stage like manner. Strikingly, we found that animal embryology contains two dominant modules of zygotic expression in terms of their protein domain composition: one involving proliferation, and a second involving differentiation. The switch between these two modules involves induction of the zootype; which in addition to homeobox containing genes, also involves Wnt and Notch signaling as well as forkhead domain transcription factors. Our results provide a systematic characterization of animal universality and identify the points of embryological constraints and flexibility. Overall design: 106 single embryo samples
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