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Nature. 1975 Mar 20;254(5497):196-9.

Control of somite number during morphogenesis of a vertebrate, Xenopus laevis.


During Xenopus embryogenesis and early growth, somite number stays close to a species-typical value for each morphological stage. This remains true even after operations on blastulae which lead to the development of abnormally small but otherwise complete early embryos, involving reduction in number of cells assigned to each somite. Evidence presented suggests that a body-position gradient may be involved, but in rather different ways at different stages, in controlling total somite number.

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