Zebrafish embryonic explants undergo genetically encoded self-assembly

A. Schauer, D.C. Nunes Pinheiro, R. Hauschild, C.-P.J. Heisenberg, ELife 9 (2020).

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Journal Article | Published | English

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Abstract
Embryonic stem cell cultures are thought to self-organize into embryoid bodies, able to undergo symmetry-breaking, germ layer specification and even morphogenesis. Yet, it is unclear how to reconcile this remarkable self-organization capacity with classical experiments demonstrating key roles for extrinsic biases by maternal factors and/or extraembryonic tissues in embryogenesis. Here, we show that zebrafish embryonic tissue explants, prepared prior to germ layer induction and lacking extraembryonic tissues, can specify all germ layers and form a seemingly complete mesendoderm anlage. Importantly, explant organization requires polarized inheritance of maternal factors from dorsal-marginal regions of the blastoderm. Moreover, induction of endoderm and head-mesoderm, which require peak Nodal-signaling levels, is highly variable in explants, reminiscent of embryos with reduced Nodal signals from the extraembryonic tissues. Together, these data suggest that zebrafish explants do not undergo bona fide self-organization, but rather display features of genetically encoded self-assembly, where intrinsic genetic programs control the emergence of order.
Publishing Year
Date Published
2020-04-06
Journal Title
eLife
Volume
9
Article Number
e55190
ISSN
IST-REx-ID

Cite this

Schauer A, Nunes Pinheiro DC, Hauschild R, Heisenberg C-PJ. Zebrafish embryonic explants undergo genetically encoded self-assembly. eLife. 2020;9. doi:10.7554/elife.55190
Schauer, A., Nunes Pinheiro, D. C., Hauschild, R., & Heisenberg, C.-P. J. (2020). Zebrafish embryonic explants undergo genetically encoded self-assembly. ELife, 9. https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.55190
Schauer, Alexandra, Diana C Nunes Pinheiro, Robert Hauschild, and Carl-Philipp J Heisenberg. “Zebrafish Embryonic Explants Undergo Genetically Encoded Self-Assembly.” ELife 9 (2020). https://doi.org/10.7554/elife.55190.
A. Schauer, D. C. Nunes Pinheiro, R. Hauschild, and C.-P. J. Heisenberg, “Zebrafish embryonic explants undergo genetically encoded self-assembly,” eLife, vol. 9, 2020.
Schauer A, Nunes Pinheiro DC, Hauschild R, Heisenberg C-PJ. 2020. Zebrafish embryonic explants undergo genetically encoded self-assembly. eLife. 9.
Schauer, Alexandra, et al. “Zebrafish Embryonic Explants Undergo Genetically Encoded Self-Assembly.” ELife, vol. 9, e55190, eLife Sciences Publications, 2020, doi:10.7554/elife.55190.
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PMID: 32250246
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