Patterns & Phenotypes
Evolution and development of the mammalian dentition: Insights from the marsupial Monodelphis domestica
Article first published online: 24 NOV 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 240, Issue 1, pages 232–239, January 2011
How to Cite
Moustakas, J. E., Smith, K. K. and Hlusko, L. J. (2011), Evolution and development of the mammalian dentition: Insights from the marsupial Monodelphis domestica. Dev. Dyn., 240: 232–239. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.22502
- Issue published online: 22 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 OCT 2010
- NSF. Grant Numbers: BCS-0616308, IBN 0316353
- tooth development;
- enamel knot;
To understand developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change, we must first know how different morphologies form. The vast majority of our knowledge on the developmental genetics of tooth formation derives from studies in mice, which have relatively derived mammalian dentitions. The marsupial Monodelphis domestica has a more plesiomorphic heterodont dentition with incisors, canines, premolars, and molars on both the upper and the lower jaws, and a deciduous premolar. The complexity of the M. domestica dentition ranges from simple, unicusped incisors to conical, sharp canines to multicusped molars. We examine the development of the teeth in M. domestica, with a specific focus on the enamel knot, a signaling center in the embryonic tooth that controls shape. We show that the tooth germs of M. domestica express fibroblast growth factor (FGF) genes and Sprouty genes in a manner similar to wild-type mouse molar germs, but with a few key differences. Developmental Dynamics, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.