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Dev Dyn. 2007 Oct;236(10):2742-56.

Convergence and extension movements affect dynamic notochord-somite interactions essential for zebrafish slow muscle morphogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235, USA.


During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension (C&E) movements shape and position the somites that form the fast and slow muscles. In zebrafish knypek;trilobite non-canonical Wnt mutants, defective C&E movements cause misshapen somites and reduction of slow muscle precursors, the adaxial cells. Here, we demonstrate essential roles of C&E in slow muscle morphogenesis. During segmentation, the adaxial cells change shapes and migrate laterally to form slow muscles at the myotome surface. Using confocal imaging techniques, we show that the adaxial cells undergo three-step shape changes, including dorsoventral elongation, anterior-ward rotation, and anteroposterior elongation. The adaxial cells in knypek;trilobite double mutants maintain prolonged contact with the notochord and fail to rotate anteriorly. Such a defect was suppressed by physical removal of their notochord or by introducing wild-type notochord cells into the mutant. We propose that in the double mutants, impaired C&E movements disrupt notochord development, which impedes the adaxial cell shape changes.

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