FGF signaling establishes the anterior border of the Ciona neural tube

Eileen Wagner, Michael Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The Ciona tadpole is constructed from simple, well-defined cell lineages governed by provisional gene networks that have been defined via extensive gene disruption assays. Here, we examine the patterning of the anterior neural plate, which produces placodal derivatives such as the adhesive palps and stomodeum, as well as the sensory vesicle (simple brain) of the Ciona tadpole. Evidence is presented that the doublesex-related gene DMRT is expressed throughout the anterior neural plate of neurulating embryos. It leads to the activation of FoxC and ZicL in the palp placode and anterior neural tube, respectively. This differential expression depends on FGF signaling, which inhibits FoxC expression in the anterior neural tube. Inhibition of FGF signaling leads to expanded expression of FoxC, the loss of ZicL, and truncation of the anterior neural tube.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2351-2359
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Ciona intestinalis
  • FoxC
  • Neural boundary
  • Placode


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