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Summary: This Spotlight outlines research being carried out towards achieving regrowth of a lost or amputated limb: one of the most challenging objectives of tissue regeneration research.


Summary: Optogenetics allows the control of protein function with the precision of a pulse of laser light. This Primer gives an overview of the most commonly used optogenetic tools and their application in developmental biology.

Summary: This Primer describes how the initial discoveries in the senescence field were made in the areas of cancer and aging, and how more recent discoveries in development and regeneration have helped to reshape our understanding of senescence biology.


Summary: SCF/SCFR signaling orchestrates cell cycle progression and mechanical dynamics in the CMZ to facilitate morphogenesis of the optic cup, which is also involved in neurogenesis of developing human neural retina.

Highlighted Article: An in vitro system based on human embryonic stem cells recapitulates the medial-lateral patterning of human ectoderm and reveals how the ectoderm is spatially patterned by WNT and BMP signaling.

Summary: Detailed analysis of human fetal limb musculature demonstrates the presence of several atavistic muscles and provides insights into the relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny of the limb musculature.


Summary: Using a mutant with increased transcriptional noise, we reveal that stem cell maintenance is not as robust as anticipated in plants, even leading to major defects in essential developmental processes such as flower indeterminacy.

Highlighted Article: A combination of lineage tracing and whole-mount imaging uncovers how the multipotency of basal stem cells is regulated during postnatal prostate development in mouse.

Summary: Two short motifs in a disordered C. elegans protein are central to its self-renewal activity and to its partnership with a conserved PUF RNA-binding protein.

Summary: Contact with surfaces and localized Wnt sources can direct the site of brachyury expression onset in mouse embryoid bodies, breaking its initial symmetry.


Summary: The contribution of pericycle, endodermis and cortex to lateral root formation reveals that a common and ancestral trait in seed plants involves mitotic activation of the cortex, endodermis and pericycle.

Summary: In mice with an epithelial tissue-specific deletion of either Insig1/2 or Atg7, inactivation of autophagy results in differentiation defects in the duct system of the salivary glands.

Summary: In wheat, AGAMOUS LIKE 6 genes function as E-class genes and play essential roles in stamen development through transcriptional regulation of Ta APETALA3.

Summary: We identify miR-19b as crucial for restricting the expression of Wnt7b to the hem region in chick, where it defines the position of the hem and the hippocampus, revealing its importance in regulating avian forebrain patterning.


Highlighted Article: The Xenopus tadpole brain adapts to limited nutrition by reversibly arresting neural progenitor cell division at G2, recovery from which requires insulin receptor and mTOR signaling downstream of nutrients.

Summary: Spatial patterning of transcription factor activity among proprioceptive sensory neurons innervating different targets is required for their further specification and for sensorimotor connectivity.

Highlighted Article: As neural progenitors mature from forebrain neurectodermal cells to neuroepithelial cells, the mitochondrial landscape, metabolic components and functional ability to employ glycolysis transition to favor oxidative phosphorylation.

Summary: Using three different genetic backgrounds to manipulate spindle shape without eliminating dynein-dependent movement or dynein localization, we reveal that spindle shape ensures correct orientation at the oocyte cortex to prevent lethal polyploidy.

Summary: Loss of WDR62 affects germ cell meiosis through the downregulation of CEP170, which causes an asymmetric distribution of the centrosomes and aberrant spindle assembly.

Highlighted Article:In silico simulations of morphology development reveal that for complex morphologies to be robust to noise, gene networks should include cell signaling that partitions the embryo into small regions where cell behaviors are regulated differently.

Summary: Nlrp4f is identified as a novel component of the subcortical maternal complex that is required for organelle distribution and cytoplasmic lattice formation, and is probably involved in mouse preimplantation development and female fertility.

Summary: Abrogation of Hippo signaling in mouse Müllerian duct mesenchyme cells causes them to adopt the myofibroblast fate, resulting in reproductive tract developmental defects and sterility.

Summary: Transcriptomic and cell morphology analyses of epicardial development reveal a new role for Wt1 in the control of epicardial cell morphology and maturation through regulation of the Bmp4 signalling pathway.

Summary: Prmt5 apparently controls germ cell development by catalyzing arginine methylation of the germline-specific proteins Zili and Vasa.

Summary: In the diploblastic sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, two classical cadherins are localized to apical and basal-lateral adherens junctions. Endoderm formation is marked by a cadherin switch.

Highlighted Article: Using experiments and modeling, this study illustrates the importance of not only chemical morphogen gradients, but also mechanical stress distributions, in embryonic development of the cerebral hemispheres.

Summary: WNT signaling must be suppressed by GSK-3 to permit SHH-driven postnatal cerebellar neurogenesis and medulloblastoma tumor growth, indicating that GSK-3 may be targeted as a novel therapy for SHH-driven medulloblastoma.

Highlighted Article: Wnt5a/planar cell polarity-mediated morphogenesis in the second heart field could simultaneously promote the separation of pulmonary from systemic circulation and drive A-P elongation for proper respiratory airway development.

Summary: Analysis of early mouse tendon development reveals that longitudinal growth of long tendons is fueled by Scx-dependent recruitment of new mesenchymal progenitors.

Summary: A phosphorylation site on Talin, a crucial adaptor protein in cell-matrix adhesions, is identified that is required for maintaining muscle attachment, as well as the kinase mediating this phosphorylation.

Summary: Reduction of the adherens junction component β-catenin is a crucial mechanism for regulating the cell-cell interactions that ensure rapid epidermal wound closure in Drosophila larvae.


Highlighted Article: Single-cell RNAseq data in fresh human airway epithelial tissues and air liquid cultures identifies novel cell populations and offers new insights into the molecular mechanisms occurring during mucociliary epithelium regeneration.

Summary: A multiplexed RNAscope in situ hybridization-immunofluorescence protocol on whole-mount skeletal myofibers and their stem cells allows sensitive spatial and quantitative analysis of transcript patterns.


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