The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 1317 - 1322 (2010)

Vol 54, Issue 8-9

Development of the posterior lateral line system in Thunnus thynnus, the atlantic blue-fin tuna, and in its close relative Sarda sarda

Open Access | Short Communication | Published: 8 July 2010

Alain Ghysen*,1, Kevin Schuster1, Denis Coves2, Fernando de la Gandara3, Nikos Papandroulakis4 and Aurelio Ortega3

1Laboratory of Neurogenetics, INSERM and Universit├ę Montpellier, Montpellier, France, 2IFREMER, Laboratoire Aquacole du Languedoc Roussillon, Palavas, France, 3Instituto Espa├▒ol de Oceanografia (IEO), Centro Oceanografico de Murcia, Puerto de Mazarron, Spain and 4Institute of Aquaculture, Hellenic Center for Marine Research, Heraklion, Greece


The lateral line system of amphibians and fish comprises a large number of individual mechanosensory organs, the neuromasts, and their sensory neurons. The pattern of neuromasts varies markedly between species, yet the embryonic pattern is highly conserved from the relatively basal zebrafish, Danio rerio, to more derived species. Here we examine in more detail the development of the posterior lateral line (PLL) in embryos and early larvae of one of the most derived fish species, the blue-fin tuna Thunnus thynnus, and of its close relative, the Atlantic bonito Sarda sarda. We show that the basic features of embryonic PLL development, including the migratory properties of the PLL primordium, the patterning of neuromasts and their innervation, are largely conserved between zebrafish and tuna. However, Thunnus and Sarda embryos differ from Danio in three respects: the larger size of the neuromast cupula, the capability of mature neuromasts to migrate dorsally, and the presence of a single, precisely located terminal neuromast.


neuromast, hair cell, planar polarity, cupula, migrating primordium

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