We analyze patterning and morphogenetic events during somitogenesis in hecate mutant embryos, which exhibit early axis induction defects. The posterior region, in the absence of a dorsal axis, is capable of forming organized gene expression patterns. The aberrant morphogenesis of mutant embryos is associated with anteriorly directed cell movements, underlying the enveloping layer, from the posterior region. In both wild-type and mutant embryos, these changes result in an accumulation of cells, whose location correlates with a constriction in the posterior yolk cell, which in the wild-type corresponds to the yolk extension. The region encompassing the constriction corresponds to a region of expression of zangptl2 in the yolk syncytial layer, which expands anteriorly together with the anteriorly migrating tail bud-derived cell population. Our data indicate that yolk extension formation is associated with coordinated changes involving the anterior migration of cells from the posterior region, changes in surface cellular layers, and inductive gene expression events in the YSL.
- Axis induction
- Yolk extension