In the nascent mesoderm, TBXT expression must be precisely regulated to ensure that cells exit the primitive streak and pattern the anterior-posterior axis, but how varying dosage informs morphogenesis is not well understood. In this study, we define the transcriptional consequences of TBXT dosage reduction during early human gastrulation using human induced pluripotent stem cell models of gastrulation and mesoderm differentiation. Multi-omic single-nucleus RNA and single-nucleus ATAC sequencing of 2D gastruloids comprising wild-type, TBXT heterozygous or TBXT null human induced pluripotent stem cells reveal that varying TBXT dosage does not compromise the ability of a cell to differentiate into nascent mesoderm, but instead directly influences the temporal progression of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition with wild type transitioning first, followed by TBXT heterozygous and then TBXT null. By differentiating cells into nascent mesoderm in a monolayer format, we further illustrate that TBXT dosage directly impacts the persistence of junctional proteins and cell–cell adhesions. These results demonstrate that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition progression can be decoupled from the acquisition of mesodermal identity in the early gastrula and shed light on the mechanisms underlying human embryogenesis.

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