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A 3D molecular map of the cavefish neural plate illuminates eye-field organization and its borders in vertebrates

Abstract : ABSTRACT The vertebrate retinas originate from a specific anlage in the anterior neural plate called the eye field. Its identity is conferred by a set of ‘eye transcription factors’, whose combinatorial expression has been overlooked. Here, we use the dimorphic teleost Astyanax mexicanus, which develops proper eyes in the wild type and smaller colobomatous eyes in the blind cavefish embryos, to unravel the molecular anatomy of the eye field and its variations within a species. Using a series of markers (rx3, pax6a, cxcr4b, zic1, lhx2, emx3 and nkx2.1a), we draw a comparative 3D expression map at the end of gastrulation/onset of neurulation, which highlights hyper-regionalization of the eye field into sub-territories of distinct sizes, shapes, cell identities and combinatorial gene expression levels along the three body axes. All these features show significant variations in the cavefish natural mutant. We also discover sub-domains within the prospective telencephalon and characterize cell identities at the frontiers of the eye field. We propose putative fates for some of the characterized eye-field subdivisions, and suggest the existence of a trade-off between some subdivisions in the two Astyanax morphs on a micro-evolutionary scale.
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Contributor : Alain Perignon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, April 11, 2022 - 10:52:09 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 3:46:04 AM

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François Agnès, Jorge Torres-Paz, Pauline Michel, Sylvie Rétaux. A 3D molecular map of the cavefish neural plate illuminates eye-field organization and its borders in vertebrates. Development (Cambridge, England), Company of Biologists, 2022, 149 (7), ⟨10.1242/dev.199966⟩. ⟨hal-03636785⟩



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