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Dev Biol. 2000 Apr 15;220(2):253-62.

Expression of a novel receptor tyrosine kinase gene and a paired-like homeobox gene provides evidence of differences in patterning at the oral and aboral ends of hydra.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Developmental Biology Center, University of California, Irvine, California 92697-1700, USA.


Axial patterning of the aboral end of the hydra body column was examined using expression data from two genes. One, shin guard, is a novel receptor protein-tyrosine kinase gene expressed in the ectoderm of the peduncle, the end of the body column adjacent to the basal disk. The other gene, manacle, is a paired-like homeobox gene expressed in differentiating basal disk ectoderm. During regeneration of the aboral end, expression of manacle precedes that of shin guard. This result is consistent with a requirement for induction of peduncle tissue by basal disk tissue. Our data contrast with data on regeneration of the oral end. During oral end regeneration, markers for tissue of the tentacles, which lie below the extreme oral end (the hypostome), are detected first. Later, markers for the hypostome itself appear at the regenerating tip, with tentacle markers displaced to the region below. Additional evidence that tissue can form basal disk without passing through a stage as peduncle tissue comes from LiCl-induced formation of patches of ectopic basal disk tissue. While manacle is ectopically expressed during formation of basal disk patches, shin guard is not. The genes examined also provide new information on development of the aboral end in buds. Although adult hydra are radially symmetrical, expression of both genes in the bud's aboral end is initially asymmetrical, appearing first on the side of the bud closest to the parent's basal disk. The asymmetry can be explained by differences in positional information in the body column tissue that evaginates to form a bud. As predicted by this hypothesis, grafts reversing the orientation of evaginating body column tissue also reverse the orientation of asymmetrical gene expression.

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