Animal pigment patterns play important roles in behavior and, in many species, red coloration serves as an honest signal of individual quality in mate choice. Among Danio fishes, some species develop erythrophores, pigment cells that contain red ketocarotenoids, whereas other species, like zebrafish (D. rerio) only have yellow xanthophores. Here, we use pearl danio (D. albolineatus) to assess the developmental origin of erythrophores and their mechanisms of differentiation. We show that erythrophores in the fin of D. albolineatus share a common progenitor with xanthophores and maintain plasticity in cell fate even after differentiation. We further identify the predominant ketocarotenoids that confer red coloration to erythrophores and use reverse genetics to pinpoint genes required for the differentiation and maintenance of these cells. Our analyses are a first step towards defining the mechanisms underlying the development of erythrophore-mediated red coloration in Danio and reveal striking parallels with the mechanism of red coloration in birds.
Numerical data presented in figure panels are provided in Supplementary File 1. RNA-Seq data has been deposited in GEO and is publicly available, accession #GSE174713)
Development and genetics of red coloration in the zebrafish relative Danio albolineatusNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE174713.
- David M Parichy
- Matthew B Toomey
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) protocol (#4170) of the University of Virginia. Euthanasia was accomplished by overdose of MS222 followed by physical maceration.
- Tanya T Whitfield, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
© 2021, Huang et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
SAS‑6 (SASS6) is essential for centriole formation in human cells and other organisms but its function in mouse is unclear. Here, we report that Sass6‑mutant mouse embryos lack centrioles, activate the mitotic surveillance cell death pathway and arrest at mid‑gestation. In contrast, SAS‑6 is not required for centriole formation in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), but is essential to maintain centriole architecture. Of note, centrioles appeared after just one day of culture of Sass6‑mutant blastocysts, from which mESCs are derived. Conversely, the number of cells with centrosomes is drastically decreased upon the exit from a mESC pluripotent state. At the mechanistic level, the activity of the master kinase in centriole formation, PLK4, associated with increased centriolar and centrosomal protein levels, endow mESCs with the robustness in using SAS‑6‑independent centriole-duplication pathways. Collectively, our data suggest a differential requirement for mouse SAS‑6 in centriole formation or integrity depending on PLK4 and centrosome composition.
The Hydra nervous system is the paradigm of a ‘simple nerve net’. Nerve cells in Hydra, as in many cnidarian polyps, are organized in a nerve net extending throughout the body column. This nerve net is required for control of spontaneous behavior: elimination of nerve cells leads to polyps that do not move and are incapable of capturing and ingesting prey (Campbell, 1976). We have re-examined the structure of the Hydra nerve net by immunostaining fixed polyps with a novel antibody that stains all nerve cells in Hydra. Confocal imaging shows that there are two distinct nerve nets, one in the ectoderm and one in the endoderm, with the unexpected absence of nerve cells in the endoderm of the tentacles. The nerve nets in the ectoderm and endoderm do not contact each other. High-resolution TEM (transmission electron microscopy) and serial block face SEM (scanning electron microscopy) show that the nerve nets consist of bundles of parallel overlapping neurites. Results from transgenic lines show that neurite bundles include different neural circuits and hence that neurites in bundles require circuit-specific recognition. Nerve cell-specific innexins indicate that gap junctions can provide this specificity. The occurrence of bundles of neurites supports a model for continuous growth and differentiation of the nerve net by lateral addition of new nerve cells to the existing net. This model was confirmed by tracking newly differentiated nerve cells.