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Reptiles: A New Model for Brain Evo-Devo Research

Authors

  • Tadashi Nomura,

    Corresponding author
    • Developmental Neurobiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Taisyogun, Kitaku, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Masahumi Kawaguchi,

    1. Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
    2. Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Ultrastructural Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, Kodaira, Tokyo 187-8502, Japan
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  • Katsuhiko Ono,

    1. Developmental Neurobiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Taisyogun, Kitaku, Kyoto, Japan
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  • Yasunori Murakami

    Corresponding author
    • Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan
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  • All authors have declared that no conflict of interests existed.

Correspondence to: Tadashi Nomura, Developmental Neurobiology, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Nishitakatsukasa-cho13, Taisyogun, Kitaku, Kyoto 603-8334, Japan. E-mail: tadnom@koto.kpu-m.ac.jp

Correspondence to: Yasunori Murakami, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, 2-5, Bunkyo-cho, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577, Japan. E-mail: bothrop@sci.ehime-u.ac.jp

Abstract

Vertebrate brains exhibit vast amounts of anatomical diversity. In particular, the elaborate and complex nervous system of amniotes is correlated with the size of their behavioral repertoire. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying species-specific brain morphogenesis remain elusive. In this review we introduce reptiles as a new model organism for understanding brain evolution. These animal groups inherited ancestral traits of brain architectures. We will describe several unique aspects of the reptilian nervous system with a special focus on the telencephalon, and discuss the genetic mechanisms underlying reptile-specific brain morphology. The establishment of experimental evo-devo approaches to studying reptiles will help to shed light on the origin of the amniote brains. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 320B:57–73, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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