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Biol Bull. 2010 Oct;219(2):132-41.

Laboratory spawning and development of the Bahama lancelet, Asymmetron lucayanum (cephalochordata): fertilization through feeding larvae.

Author information

1
Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 93093, USA. nholland@ucsd.edu

Abstract

Here we report on spawning and development of the Bahama lancelet, Asymmetron lucayanum. Ripe adults collected in Bimini spawned the same evening when placed in the dark for 90 minutes. The developmental morphology is described from whole mounts and histological sections. A comparison between development in Asymmetron and the better known cephalochordate genus Branchiostoma reveals similarities during the early embryonic stages but deviations by the late embryonic and early larval stages. Thus, the initial positions of the mouth, first gill slit, and anus differ between the two genera. Even more strikingly, Hatschek's right and left diverticula, which arise by enterocoely at the anterior end of the pharynx in Branchiostoma, never form during Asymmetron development. In Branchiostoma, these diverticula become the rostral coelom and preoral pit. In Asymmetron, by contrast, homologs of the rostral coelom and preoral pit form by schizocoely within an anterior cell cluster of unproven (but likely endodermal) origin. Proposing evolutionary scenarios to account for developmental differences between Asymmetron and Branchiostoma is currently hampered by uncertainty over which genus is basal in the cephalochordates. A better understanding of developmental diversity within the cephalochordates will require phylogenetic analyses based on nuclear genes and the genome sequence of an Asymmetron species.

PMID:
20972258
DOI:
10.1086/BBLv219n2p132
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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