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Nat Commun. 2019 Dec 17;10(1):5753. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13625-0.

Multi-scale imaging and analysis identify pan-embryo cell dynamics of germlayer formation in zebrafish.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstr. 108, 01307, Dresden, Germany. gopi.shah@embl.es.
2
European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Carrer del Dr. Aiguader, 88, 08003, Barcelona, Spain. gopi.shah@embl.es.
3
Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometry, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, TU Dresden, 01307, Dresden, Germany.
4
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstr. 1a, 04103, Leipzig, Germany.
5
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstr. 108, 01307, Dresden, Germany.
6
Optical Imaging Centre Erlangen, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 91054, Erlangen, Germany.
7
Faculty of Computer Science and Media, Leipzig University of Applied Sciences, 04277, Leipzig, Germany.
8
Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 94158-9001, USA.
9
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 94158-2517, USA.
10
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstr. 108, 01307, Dresden, Germany. nico.scherf@tu-dresden.de.
11
Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometry, Carl Gustav Carus Faculty of Medicine, TU Dresden, 01307, Dresden, Germany. nico.scherf@tu-dresden.de.
12
Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstr. 1a, 04103, Leipzig, Germany. nico.scherf@tu-dresden.de.
13
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstr. 108, 01307, Dresden, Germany. jhuisken@morgridge.org.
14
Morgridge Institute for Research, 330 N Orchard St, Madison, WI, 53715, USA. jhuisken@morgridge.org.

Abstract

The coordination of cell movements across spatio-temporal scales ensures precise positioning of organs during vertebrate gastrulation. Mechanisms governing such morphogenetic movements have been studied only within a local region, a single germlayer or in whole embryos without cell identity. Scale-bridging imaging and automated analysis of cell dynamics are needed for a deeper understanding of tissue formation during gastrulation. Here, we report pan-embryo analyses of formation and dynamics of all three germlayers simultaneously within a developing zebrafish embryo. We show that a distinct distribution of cells in each germlayer is established during early gastrulation via cell movement characteristics that are predominantly determined by their position in the embryo. The differences in initial germlayer distributions are subsequently amplified by a global movement, which organizes the organ precursors along the embryonic body axis, giving rise to the blueprint of organ formation. The tools and data are available as a resource for the community.

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