Multicellularity has been one of the most important innovations in the history of life. The role of gene regulatory changes in driving transitions to multicellularity is being increasingly recognized; however, factors influencing gene expression patterns are poorly known in many clades. Here we compared the developmental transcriptomes of complex multicellular fruiting bodies of eight Agaricomycetes and Cryptococcus neoformans, a closely related human pathogen with a simple morphology. In-depth analysis in Pleurotus ostreatus revealed that allele-specific expression, natural antisense transcripts and developmental gene expression, but not RNA editing or a 'developmental hourglass' act in concert to shape its transcriptome during fruiting body development. We found that transcriptional patterns of genes strongly depend on their evolutionary ages. Young genes showed more developmental and allele-specific expression variation, possibly because of weaker evolutionary constraint, suggestive of non-adaptive expression variance in fruiting bodies. These results prompted us to define a set of conserved genes specifically regulated only during complex morphogenesis by excluding young genes and accounting for deeply conserved ones shared with species showing simple sexual development. Analysis of the resulting gene set revealed evolutionary and functional associations with complex multicellularity, which allowed us to speculate they are involved in complex multicellular morphogenesis of mushroom fruiting bodies.
Raw RNA-Seq reads have been deposited to NCBI's GEO archive (GSE176181).
Data from: Gene age predicts the transcriptional landscape of sexual morphogenesis in multicellular fungiDryad Digital Repository, doi:10.5061/dryad.5qfttdz5m.
Gene age predicts the transcriptional landscape of sexual morphogenesis in multicellular fungiNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE176181.
- László G Nagy
- László G Nagy
- László G Nagy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Luis F Larrondo, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile
© 2022, Merényi 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.
Development of the nervous system depends on signaling centers – specialized cellular populations that produce secreted molecules to regulate neurogenesis in the neighboring neuroepithelium. In some cases, signaling center cells also differentiate to produce key types of neurons. The formation of a signaling center involves its induction, the maintenance of expression of its secreted molecules, and cell differentiation and migration events. How these distinct processes are coordinated during signaling center development remains unknown. By performing studies in mice, we show that Lmx1a acts as a master regulator to orchestrate the formation and function of the cortical hem (CH), a critical signaling center that controls hippocampus development. Lmx1a co-regulates CH induction, its Wnt signaling, and the differentiation and migration of CH-derived Cajal–Retzius neurons. Combining RNAseq, genetic, and rescue experiments, we identified major downstream genes that mediate distinct Lmx1a-dependent processes. Our work revealed that signaling centers in the mammalian brain employ master regulatory genes and established a framework for analyzing signaling center development.
Cephalochordates and tunicates represent the only two groups of invertebrate chordates, and extant cephalochordates – commonly known as amphioxus or lancelets – are considered the best proxy for the chordate ancestor, from which they split around 520 million years ago. Amphioxus has been an important organism in the fields of zoology and embryology since the 18th century, and the morphological and genomic simplicity of cephalochordates (compared to vertebrates) makes amphioxus an attractive model for studying chordate biology at the cellular and molecular levels. Here we describe the life cycle of amphioxus, and discuss the natural histories and habitats of the different species of amphioxus. We also describe their use as laboratory animal models, and discuss the techniques that have been developed to study different aspects of amphioxus.