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Cellular basis of gastrulation in the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis
Kominami, T.; Takata, H. (2000). Cellular basis of gastrulation in the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis. Biol. Bull. 199: 287-297
In: Biological Bulletin. Marine Biological Laboratory: Lancaster. ISSN 0006-3185, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Kominami, T.
  • Takata, H.

    The processes of gastrulation in the sand dollar Scaphechinus mirabilis are quite different from those in regular echinoids. In this study, we explored the cellular basis of gastrulation in this species with several methods. Cell-tracing experiments revealed that the prospective endodermal cells were convoluted throughout the invagination processes. Histological observation showed that the ectodermal layer remained thickened, and the vegetal cells retained an elongated shape until the last step of invagination. Further, most of the vegetal ectodermal cells were skewed or distorted. Wedge-shaped cells were common in the vegetal ectoderm, especially at the subequatorial region. In these embryos, unlike the embryos of regular echinoids, secondary mesenchyme cells did not seem to exert the force to pull up the archenteron toward the inner surface of the apical plate. In fact, the archenteron cells were not stretched along the axis of elongation and were in close contact with each other. Here we found that gastrulation was completely blocked when the embryos were attached to a glass dish coated with poly-L-lysine, in which the movement of the ectodermal layer was inhibited. These results suggest that a force generated by the thickened ectoderm, rather than rearrangement of the archenteron cells, may play a key role in the archenteron elongation in S. mirabilis embryos.

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