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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1998 Aug;8(4):457-63.

Ascidian embryogenesis and the origins of the chordate body plan.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA. annadg@uclink4.berkeley.edu


For more than a century, ascidians have been a widely used system for classic embryological studies. Ascidians possess simple, well-defined cell-lineages, compact genomes, rapid development and world-wide distribution. Transgenic DNA can be introduced into developing embryos using simple electroporation methods. The ascidian larva represents the most simplified chordate body plan and provides a useful model for studying the molecular pathways underlying the morphogenesis and differentiation of the notochord and neural tube.

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