, Volume 209, Issue 4, pp 260-263

An amphioxus Msx gene expressed predominantly in the dorsal neural tube

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Abstract

 Genomic and cDNA clones of an Msx class homeobox gene were isolated from amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae). The gene, AmphiMsx, is expressed in the neural plate from late gastrulation; in later embryos it is expressed in dorsal cells of the neural tube, excluding anterior and posterior regions, in an irregular reiterated pattern. There is transient expression in dorsal cells within somites, reminiscent of migrating neural crest cells of vertebrates. In larvae, mRNA is detected in two patches of anterior ectoderm proposed to be placodes. Evolutionary analyses show there is little phylogenetic information in Msx protein sequences; however, it is likely that duplication of Msx genes occurred in the vertebrate lineage.

Received: 12 October 1998 / Accepted: 26 December 1998