A strategy to discover new organizers identifies a putative heart organizer

Claire Anderson, Mohsin A F Khan, Frances Wong, Tatiana Solovieva, Nidia M M Oliveira, Richard A. Baldock, Cheryll Tickle, Dave W. Burt, Claudio D. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (SciVal)
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Organizers are regions of the embryo that can both induce new fates and impart pattern on other regions. So far, surprisingly few organizers have been discovered, considering the number of patterned tissue types generated during development. This may be because their discovery has relied on transplantation and ablation experiments. Here we describe a new approach, using chick embryos, to discover organizers based on a common gene expression signature, and use it to uncover the anterior intestinal portal (AIP) endoderm as a putative heart organizer. We show that the AIP can induce cardiac identity from non-cardiac mesoderm and that it can pattern this by specifying ventricular and suppressing atrial regional identity. We also uncover some of the signals responsible. The method holds promise as a tool to discover other novel organizers acting during development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12656
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2016


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