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Summary: This Meeting Review summarises the main results presented at the EMBO/EMBL Symposium ‘Mechanical Forces in Development’ held in Germany in July 2019.


Summary: This Primer summarizes the studies using the spiny mouse as a mammalian model for regeneration, its phylogenetic position, historical perspective and what we have learnt about principles of regeneration from this new model.


Summary: Comparative genomic and developmental studies provide a window into the origin and early history of animal evolution, particularly the role played by changes in the regulatory genome.


Highlighted Article: Specificity protein 2 conditionally deleted mice reveal mechanistic differences between the early expansive and later neurogenic periods of cortical development.

Summary: In Drosophila embryos, muscle stem cells represent spatial landmarks for navigating motor axons and are required for proper innervation of lateral muscles.


Summary: Genetic analysis in zebrafish shows that estrogens produced by Cyp19a1a induce ovarian differentiation by suppressing Dmrt1 expression; however, they play little role in controlling the subsequent early folliculogenesis.


Summary: The evolution of the developmental gene regulatory network, including the sea urchin-specific homeobox gene pmar1, provides an exceptional model for understanding how early developmental processes evolved.

Summary: Genome-edited larp6a and larp6b double-knockout zebrafish appear morphologically and behaviourally wild type and are fertile. Larp6 proteins are, however, required maternally for normal oocyte development and chorion formation and elevation.

Highlighted Article: Dampened Hes1 oscillations reduce the proliferation of neural progenitor cells and accelerate neuronal differentiation, suggesting functional significance of robust Hes1 oscillations in efficient proliferation and maintenance of neural progenitor cells.

Summary: Cell-autonomous sex identity does not apply to chicken ovarian cortex development. The gonadal epithelium responds to oestrogen via ERα and drives cortex formation independently of the medulla's phenotypic sex.

Highlighted Article: Multidimensional imaging and computational analyses in zebrafish reveal that optic cup morphogenesis is dependent upon neural crest-derived nidogens, which modulate extracellular matrix assembly.

Highlighted Article: Loss of Cyp26b1 results in neonatal lethality due to failure of distal lung epithelial differentiation, with increased AT2 and decreased AT1 cell types.

Summary: Sensory dendrites attach at the nose of a C. elegans embryo and stretch out during embryo elongation. Their tips are anchored by SAX-7/L1CAM acting in neurons and glia, and by GRDN-1/CCDC88C acting in glia.

Summary: The p53 pathway is involved in the control of mammary cell proliferation and survival downstream of laminin-binding integrins, revealing the essential role of cell interactions with laminin for lactogenic differentiation.

Summary: Notch signalling regulates the rostral-caudal patterning and commitment of the epibranchial placodal region into repeated Vgll2+/Irx5+ and Sox2+/Fgf3+/Etv5+ domains along the pharyngeal clefts, leading to the formation of individual placodes.


Summary: Genetic modification of Prdm14, a unique germ cell specifier, in rat allows rat germline specification/development to be traced and to be compared across mammals.

Highlighted Article: Inducible p21-GFP transgenic mice enable experimentally induced permanent cell cycle arrest and genetic marking of specific cell lineages of interest, allowing the effects of cell proliferation on cell fate plasticity to be studied.

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