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The morphology of gastrulation driving the internalization of the mesoderm and endoderm differs markedly among vertebrate species. It ranges from involution of epithelial sheets of cells through a circular blastopore in amphibians to ingression of mesenchymal cells through a primitive streak in amniotes. By targeting signaling pathways controlling critical cell behaviors in the chick embryo, we generated crescent- and ring-shaped mesendoderm territories in which cells can or cannot ingress. These alterations subvert the formation of the chick primitive streak into the gastrulation modes seen in amphibians, reptiles, and teleost fish. Our experimental manipulations are supported by a theoretical framework linking cellular behaviors to self-organized multicellular flows outlined in detail in the accompanying paper. Together, this suggests that the evolution of gastrulation movements is largely determined by changes in a few critical cell behaviors in the mesendoderm territory across different species and controlled by a relatively small number of signaling pathways.
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1/01/20 → 31/12/23
Reconstruction of distinct vertebrate gastrulation modes via modulation of key cell behaviors in the chick embryo