Vertebrate embryonic cleavage pattern determination

Andrew Hasley, Shawn Chavez, Michael Danilchik, Martin Wühr, Francisco Pelegri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The pattern of the earliest cell divisions in a vertebrate embryo lays the groundwork for later developmental events such as gastrulation, organogenesis, and overall body plan establishment. Understanding these early cleavage patterns and the mechanisms that create them is thus crucial for the study of vertebrate development. This chapter describes the early cleavage stages for species representing ray-finned fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, mammals, and proto-vertebrate ascidians and summarizes current understanding of the mechanisms that govern these patterns. The nearly universal influence of cell shape on orientation and positioning of spindles and cleavage furrows and the mechanisms that mediate this influence are discussed. We discuss in particular models of aster and spindle centering and orientation in large embryonic blastomeres that rely on asymmetric internal pulling forces generated by the cleavage furrow for the previous cell cycle. Also explored are mechanisms that integrate cell division given the limited supply of cellular building blocks in the egg and several-fold changes of cell size during early development, as well as cytoskeletal specializations specific to early blastomeres including processes leading to blastomere cohesion. Finally, we discuss evolutionary conclusions beginning to emerge from the contemporary analysis of the phylogenetic distributions of cleavage patterns. In sum, this chapter seeks to summarize our current understanding of vertebrate early embryonic cleavage patterns and their control and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Pages117-171
Number of pages55
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Volume953
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Keywords

  • Aster centering
  • Blastomere
  • Cell cleavage type
  • Cleavage plane determination
  • Compaction
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Evolution
  • Scaling
  • Spindle orientation

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  • Cite this

    Hasley, A., Chavez, S., Danilchik, M., Wühr, M., & Pelegri, F. (2017). Vertebrate embryonic cleavage pattern determination. In Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (pp. 117-171). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 953). Springer New York LLC. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46095-6_4