Functional recapitulation of a likely evolutionary gain in gene expression shows that two genes are sufficient to switch mesoderm cell internalization from stochastic cell ingression to coordinated epithelial invagination.
Spatially and temporally patterned activation of the small GTPase Rho1 indicates that ventral-specific factors contribute to cell- and tissue-level behaviors during ventral furrow formation, the first step in Drosophila gastrulation.
Micropatterned differentiation of human ESCs generates gastrulation cell types – germ layers, extraembryonic, and primordial germ cells with primate characteristics – that show conserved sorting behaviors when dissociated and reseeded as single-cell mixture.
The cellular behaviours that underlie the internalization of the multilayered endoderm anlage in Xenopus laevis link the ancestral mode of vertebrate gastrulation to common, epithelial-based mechanisms of gastrulation in non-vertebrate animals.
At gastrulation, mesoderm arises as a migratory germ layer that will participate to both foetal and placental development through region-dependant adaptation of cytoskeleton composition, cell shape and migration mode.