Adult echinoderms form a mineralized skeleton, but only sea urchins and brittle stars form larval skeletons. In the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the gene regulatory network (GRN) leading to skeleton formation has been characterized. This S. purpuratus GRN includes several members of the ets family, including Erg, Ets1/2 and Gabp. The brittle star Ophiocoma wendtii forms an embryonic skeleton similar to S. purpuratus. The goal of this proposal is to see if expression of the ets family members is conserved as part of the skeletogenic GRN in O. wendtii. Four genes were identified in O. wendtii; homologous to S. purpuratus Erg, Ets1/2, Ets4 and Gabp based on phylogenetic analysis. The coding sequences of these O. wendtii genes were obtained and their temporal expression was determined. These results suggest that sea urchins and brittle stars share a GRN leading to skeleton formation that has been activated in the embryos of both.
|Commitee:||Eldon, Elizabeth, Malcomber, Simon|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Molecular biology, Evolution and Development|
|Keywords:||Brittle stars, ETS gene family, Ophiocoma wendtii, Sea urchins, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, Transcription factors|
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