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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A novel homeobox gene, dharma, can induce the organizer in a non-cell-autonomous manner.

The formation of Spemann organizer is one of the most important steps in dorsoventral axis determination in vertebrate development. However, whether the organizer forms autonomously or is induced non-cell-autonomously is controversial. In this report we have isolated a novel zebrafish homeobox gene, dharma, capable of inducing the organizer ectopically. The expression of dharma was first detected in several blastomeres at one side of the margin soon after the mid-blastula transition and continued in the dorsal side of the yolk syncytial layer (YSL) under the embryonic shield, the zebrafish organizer, until the onset of gastrulation. Furthermore, dharma expressed in the YSL induced the organizer in a non-cell-autonomous manner. These results provided the first identification of a zygotic gene to be implicated in the formation of an organizer-inducing center.[1]


  1. A novel homeobox gene, dharma, can induce the organizer in a non-cell-autonomous manner. Yamanaka, Y., Mizuno, T., Sasai, Y., Kishi, M., Takeda, H., Kim, C.H., Hibi, M., Hirano, T. Genes Dev. (1998) [Pubmed]
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