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Bioessays. 1997 Jul;19(7):623-31.

Set-aside cells in maximal indirect development: evolutionary and developmental significance.

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Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125, USA.


In the maximal form of indirect development found in many taxa of marine invertebrates, embryonic cell lineages of fixed fate and limited division capacity give rise to the larval structures. The adult arises from set-aside cells in the larva that are held out from the early embryonic specification processes, and that retain extensive proliferative capacity. We review the locations and fates of set-aside cells in two protostomes, a lophophorate and a deuterostome. The distinct adult body plans of many phyla develop from homologous set-aside cells within homologous larvae. We argue that the stocks from which these phyla arose utilized these respective larvae, and the diversity of their adult body plans reflects diverse pattern formation processes executed in their set-aside cell populations. Chordates and arthropods develop directly, but share adult characters with indirectly developing phyla. Thus the deuterostome and protostome stocks that were ancestral to chordates and arthropods, respectively, also utilized maximal indirect development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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