The notochord gene regulatory network in chordate evolution: Conservation and divergence from Ciona to vertebrates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The notochord is a structure required for support and patterning of all chordate embryos, from sea squirts to humans. An increasing amount of information on notochord development and on the molecular strategies that ensure its proper morphogenesis has been gleaned through studies in the sea squirt Ciona. This invertebrate chordate offers a fortunate combination of experimental advantages, ranging from translucent, fast-developing embryos to a compact genome and impressive biomolecular resources. These assets have enabled the rapid identification of numerous notochord genes and cis-regulatory regions, and provide a rather unique opportunity to reconstruct the gene regulatory network that controls the formation of this developmental and evolutionary chordate landmark. This chapter summarizes the morphogenetic milestones that punctuate notochord formation in Ciona, their molecular effectors, and the current knowledge of the gene regulatory network that ensures the accurate spatial and temporal orchestration of these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGene Regulatory Networks
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages50
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCurrent topics in developmental biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153


  • Ascidian
  • Brachyury
  • Ciona
  • Enhancer
  • Gene expression
  • Gene regulatory network
  • Notochord
  • Transcription factor
  • cis-Regulatory module
  • Humans
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Morphogenesis/genetics
  • Animals
  • Notochord/embryology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Ciona/embryology
  • Models, Genetic
  • Vertebrates/embryology
  • Evolution, Molecular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The notochord gene regulatory network in chordate evolution: Conservation and divergence from Ciona to vertebrates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this