Brachyury downstream notochord differentiation in the ascidian embryo

Hiroki Takahashi, Kohji Hotta, Albert Erives, Anna Di Gregorio, Robert W. Zeller, Michael Levine, Nori Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations


The ascidian tadpole represents the most simplified chordate body plan. It contains a notochord composed of just 40 cells, but as in vertebrates Brachyury is essential for notochord differentiation. Here, we show that the misexpression of the Brachyury gene (Ci-Bra) of Ciona intestinalis is sufficient to transform endoderm into notochord. Subtractive hybridization screens were conducted to identify potential Brachyury target genes that are induced upon Ci-Bra misexpression. Of 501 independent cDNA clones that were surveyed, 38 were specifically expressed in notochord cells. These potential Ci-Bra downstream genes appear to encode a broad spectrum of divergent proteins associated with notochord formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1519-1523
Number of pages5
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


  • Ascidians
  • Brachyury
  • Differentiation
  • Downstream genes
  • Notochord

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Brachyury downstream notochord differentiation in the ascidian embryo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Takahashi, H., Hotta, K., Erives, A., Di Gregorio, A., Zeller, R. W., Levine, M., & Satoh, N. (1999). Brachyury downstream notochord differentiation in the ascidian embryo. Genes and Development, 13(12), 1519-1523.