The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 57: 753 - 757 (2013)

Vol 57, Issue 9-10

Clonal analyses in the anterior pre-placodal region: implications for the early lineage bias of placodal progenitors

Short Communication | Published: 4 December 2013

Sujata Bhattacharyya and Marianne E. Bronner*

Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA


Cranial ectodermal placodes, a vertebrate innovation, contribute to the adenohypophysis and peripheral nervous system of the head, including the paired sense organs (eyes, nose, ears) and sensory ganglia of the Vth, VIIth, IXth and Xth cranial nerves. Fate-maps of groups of cells in amphibians, teleosts and amniotes have demonstrated that all placodes have a common origin in a horseshoe shaped territory, known as the preplacodal region (PPR), which surrounds the presumptive neural plate of the late gastrula/early neurula stage embryo. Given the extensive regional overlap of progenitors for different placodes in the chick embryo, it has been a matter of debate as to whether individual cells in the PPR are truly multipotent progenitors, with regard to placodal identity, or rather are lineage-biased or restricted to a specific placodal type prior to overt differentiation. Utilizing clonal analyses in vivo, we demonstrate here that the anterior PPR comprises some precursors that contribute either to the olfactory or lens placode well before they are spatially segregated or committed to either of these placodal fates. This suggests that lineage bias towards a specific placodal fate may coincide with induction of the PPR.


placode, olfactory, lens, pre-placodal region, lineage

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