Development of the endoderm and gut in medaka, Oryzias latipes


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We performed an extensive analysis of endodermal development and gut tube morphogenesis in the medaka embryo by histology and in situ hybridization. The markers used in these analyses included sox17, sox32, foxA2, gata-4, -5, -6 and shh. sox17, sox32, foxA2, and gata-5 and -6 are expressed in the early endoderm to the onset of gut tube formation. Sections of medaka embryos hybridized with foxA2, a pan-endodermal marker during gut morphogenesis, demonstrated that gut tube formation is initiated in the anterior portion and that the anterior and mid/posterior gut undergo distinct morphogenetic processes. Tube formation in the anterior endoderm that is fated to the pharynx and esophagus is much delayed and appears to be independent of gut morphogenesis. The overall aspects of medaka gut development are similar to those of zebrafish, except that zebrafish tube formation initiates at both the anterior and posterior portions. Our results therefore describe both molecular and morphological aspects of medaka digestive system development that will be necessary for the characterization of medaka mutants.