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Dev Biol 2013 May 01;3771:236-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.03.006.
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Neural development in Eucidaris tribuloides and the evolutionary history of the echinoid larval nervous system.

Bishop CD , MacNeil KE , Patel D , Taylor VJ , Burke RD .

The structure and development of the larval nervous systems of all classes of echinoderms have been described and details of embryonic signaling mechanisms patterning neurogenesis have been revealed experimentally in sea urchins. Several features of neuroanatomy and neural development indicate that echinoids are the most derived group. Here we describe the development and organization of the nervous system of a cidaroid, Eucidaris tribuloides. The cidaroids are one of two major clades of echinoids, and are considered to have features of anatomy and development that represent the common ancestor to all echinoids. The embryos of E. tribuloides lack a thickened animal plate and serotonergic neurons arise laterally, associated with the ciliary band. Although lacking a discrete apical organ, plutei have serotonergic neurons associated with the pre-oral ciliary band joined by a few diffusely arranged connecting axons. Chordin and Hnf6, early markers for oral ectoderm and ciliary band, are expressed in similar patterns to euechinoids. However, an animal pole domain marker, Nk2.1, is expressed in a broader region of anterior ectoderm than in euechinoids. Six3, a proneural marker that is restricted to the animal plate of euechinoids, is expressed laterally in the preoral ciliary band at the same location as the serotonergic neurons. We conclude that the organization and development of the larval nervous system of E. tribuloides retains features shared with other echinoderm larvae, but not with euechinoids. These data support a model in which several distinctive features of euechinoid neural organization are derived, having arisen after the divergence of the two clades of echinoids about 265 million years ago. We hypothesize that differences in the developmental mechanisms that restrict neurogenesis to the animal pole forms the basis for the distinctive neuroanatomy of euechinoids.

PubMed ID: 23506838
Article link: Dev Biol

Genes referenced: ago1b chrd hnf6 LOC100887844 nkx2-1 onecut2 pole six6