The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Volume 61 > Issue 10-11-12 (Special Issue)

Cover Vol. 61 N. 10-11-12

The Amphioxus Model System

Edited by: Zbynek Kozmik

Cover Legend

The amphioxus, or lancelet, is a fish-like marine chordate which is considered to be an archetypal vertebrate form. Although specialized tunicates are closer relatives to chordates, amphioxus represents the best living outgroup proxy for the study of the evolution and development of vertebrates. It spends most of its life burrowed in the ocean floor, exposing only the front part of its body. It collects its food by filtering the surrounding water through its mouth, which is protected by conspicuous oral cirri stiffened by a cartilaginous skeleton. The illustrated amphioxus belongs to the species Branchiostoma floridae, the Florida amphioxus, which is the species that is most commonly used as a model in experimental biology. Text and photograph by Dr. David Jandzik, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder (USA).



The Amphioxus Model System

Zbynek Kozmik

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 571-574

Historical perspective

The ups and downs of amphioxus biology: a history

Nicholas D. Holland and Linda Z. Holland

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 575-583

The dawn of amphioxus molecular biology - a personal perspective

Peter W.H. Holland

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 585-590

Evolutionary insights into embryonic and adult function

Early development of amphioxus links evolutionary events with vertebrates

Kinya Yasui

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 591-600


Dorsal-ventral patterning in amphioxus: current understanding, unresolved issues, and future directions

Iryna Kozmikova and Jr-Kai Yu

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 601-610

Left-right asymmetry specification in amphioxus: review and prospects

Vladimir Soukup

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 611-620

Metamerism in cephalochordates and the problem of the vertebrate head

Takayuki Onai, Noritaka Adachi and Shigeru Kuratani

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 621-632

From so simple a beginning – what amphioxus can teach us about placode evolution

Gerhard Schlosser

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 633-648

Interpreting amphioxus, and thoughts on ancestral chordate mouths and brains

Thurston Lacalli

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 649-654

Origin and evolution of the chordate central nervous system: insights from amphioxus genoarchitecture

Beatriz Albuixech-Crespo, Carlos Herrera-Úbeda, Gemma Marfany, Manuel Irimia and Jordi Garcia-Fernàndez

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 655-664


Amphioxus photoreceptors - insights into the evolution of vertebrate opsins, vision and circadian rhythmicity

Jiri Pergner and Zbynek Kozmik

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 665-681

The long and winding path to understanding kidney structure in amphioxus - a review

Nicholas D. Holland

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 683-688

Amphioxus regeneration: evolutionary and biomedical implications

Ildikó M.L. Somorjai

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 689-696

Molecular level control of development and behavior

Developmental cell-cell communication pathways in the cephalochordate amphioxus: actors and functions

Stephanie Bertrand, Yann Le Petillon, Ildikó M.L. Somorjai and Hector Escriva

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 697-722

Amphioxus Sp5 is a member of a conserved Specificity Protein complement and is modulated by Wnt/β-catenin signalling

Simon C. Dailey, Iryna Kozmikova and Ildikó M.L. Somorjai

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 723-732

CYP26 function is required for the tissue-specific modulation of retinoic acid signaling during amphioxus development

João E. Carvalho, François Lahaye, Jenifer C. Croce and Michael Schubert

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 733-747

The origin of dopaminergic systems in chordate brains: insights from amphioxus

Elisabeth Zieger, Thurston C. Lacalli, Mario Pestarino, Michael Schubert and Simona Candiani

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 749-761


The opsin repertoire of the European lancelet: a window into light detection in a basal chordate

Chrysoula N. Pantzartzi, Jiri Pergner, Iryna Kozmikova and Zbynek Kozmik

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 763-772

Technological advances

Keeping amphioxus in the laboratory: an update on available husbandry methods

João E. Carvalho, François Lahaye and Michael Schubert

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 773-783

Characterization of an amphioxus heat-shock protein gene promoter and its application in vivo

Chaofan Xing, Guang Li, Xian Liu, Xi Deng and Yiquan Wang

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 785-792


Novel polyclonal antibodies as a useful tool for expression studies in amphioxus embryos

Matteo Bozzo, Jiri Pergner, Zbynek Kozmik and Iryna Kozmikova

Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2017) 61: 793-800