This article includes recent preLights posts that discuss preprints in the field of developmental and stem cell biology.

Patterned embryonic invagination evolved in response to mechanical instability by Bruno C. Vellutini et al. and Divergent evolutionary strategies preempt tissue collision in fly gastrulation by Bipasha Dey et al.

Read the preLight.

Visual summary of findings presented in the two preprints discussed here. Created by Bipasha Dey.


Jennifer Ann Black (JB), postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Chee Kiang (Ethan) Ewe (EE), postdoctoral researcher at Tel Aviv University, Israel

Benjamin Dominik Maier (BM), PhD student at the European Bioinformatics Institute and the University of Cambridge, UK

Amanda Ivanoff (AI), PhD student at SUNY Buffalo, USA

Why it was selected

JB: “I liked the fact that both publications arrived at similar take-home messages, which strengthens the overall findings, while there were differences in the approach taken highlighting the importance of looking at biological questions from different angles.”

BM: “The findings presented in these preprints results from the ability to work across a range of different biological fields (e.g. evolutionary biology, developmental biology, computational biology, molecular biology, genetics).”

EE: “The concept of having a buffer for mechanical stresses is very appealing. It's amazing that an important process such as gastrulation is undergoing such rapid evolution. Evolution always finds a way.”

AI: “This is a typical evo-devo engineering problem: how do new patterning mechanisms emerge and what are their consequences on morphology? As one influences the other, it is quite an exciting puzzle to predict where selection will act and what it will sacrifice. Furthermore, what are the gears that make these new patterning forms emerge (and how efficient/non-efficient are they)? I love stories where evolution has created a kind of a conserved mess that carries many other cooler innovations on its back, so that we end up being stuck with it.”

Nanos2+ cells give rise to germline and somatic lineages in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis by Andreas Denner et al.

The search for i-cells: @TechnauLab characterizes a putative stem cell population in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis

Selected by Isabella Cisneros. Read the preLight.

Plant plasmodesmata bridges form through ER-driven incomplete cytokinesis by Ziqiang P. Li et al. and Plasmodesmata act as unconventional membrane contact sites regulating inter-cellular molecular exchange in plants by Jessica Pérez-Sancho et al.

How to make connections – the role of MCTP proteins and the ER in plasmodesmata formation and cell-to-cell communication

Selected by Gwendolyn K. Kirschner. Read the preLight.

Single-cell epigenomic reconstruction of developmental trajectories in human neural organoid systems from pluripotency by Fides Zenk et al.

An insight into the fascinating world of neurodevelopment: histone modifications put the brakes on stem cell potential during organogenesis.

Selected by Manuel Lessi. Read the preLight.

The brittle star genome illuminates the genetic basis of animal appendage regeneration by Elise Parey et al.

Fortifying our understanding of regeneration: @Ferdix, Elise Parey, and collaborators use the brittle star genome to reveal conserved gene expression dynamics across regenerating model systems

Selected by Isabella Cisneros. Read the preLight.