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Dev Genes Evol. 2000 Dec;210(12):641-3.

Ascidian Wnt-7 gene is expressed exclusively in the tail neural tube of tailbud embryos.

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Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


In vertebrate embryogenesis, many Wnt genes are expressed in the neural tube and play important roles in regional specifications. There are many subfamilies of Wnt, and each subfamily shows distinct expression patterns in the neural tube. Ascidian larvae have a dorsal hollow neural tube similar to that of vertebrates. To date, the degree of correspondence between regionality of the neural tubes of ascidians and vertebrates remains unclear. To compare cellular differences in neural tubes, Wnt genes can be used as molecular probes. We report here that a new member of the ascidian Wnt gene family, HrWnt-7, was expressed in the tail neural tube at the early tailbud stage. Moreover, in cross-section, HrWnt-7 was expressed in the dorsal and ventral ependymal cells.

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