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Keywords:

  • Zebrafish;
  • median fin;
  • skeletal augmentation;
  • gene expression;
  • patterning;
  • development;
  • late-stage

Abstract

Timing and pattern of expression of ten candidate segmentation genes or gene pairs were reviewed or examined in developing median fins of late-stage zebrafish, Danio rerio. We found a general correspondence in timing and pattern of expression between zebrafish fin radial segmentation and tetrapod joint development, suggesting that molecular mechanisms underlying radial segmentation have been conserved over 400 million years of evolution. Gene co-expression during segmentation (5.5–6.5 mm SL) is similar between tetrapods and zebrafish: bmp2b, bmp4, chordin, and gdf5 in interradial mesenchyme and ZS; bapx1, col2a1, noggin3, and sox9a in chondrocytes. Surprisingly, wnt9a is not expressed in the developing median fins, though wnt9b is detected. In contrast to all other candidate segmentation genes we examined, bapx1 is not expressed in the caudal fin, which does not segment. Together, these data suggest a scenario of gene interactions underlying radial segmentation based on the patterns and timing of candidate gene expression. Developmental Dynamics 236:3111–3128, 2007 © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.