Heart Development In Ciona

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Book Chapter

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Reference Module In Life Sciences


Ciona intestinalis is an important model for studying the genetic and cellular basis of heart development. In this article we summarize the anatomy, physiology, and formation of the heart in developing Ciona embryos. We also review recent studies characterizing the gene network encoding Ciona cardiogenesis and how cellular processes interface with this network. Additionally, we discuss how insights into Ciona heart development inform vertebrate cardiogenesis. More broadly, we consider the potential for Ciona heart research to shed light on the morphogenetic circuitry regulating cell identity and behavior in developing embryos, stem cells, and tumors.


Cardiac induction, Chordate evolution, Ciona intestinalis, Collective cell migration, Fibroblast Growth factor, Gene regulatory networks, Heart development, MAP Kinase

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