Journal article

Heterochrony in the Regulation of the Developing Marsupial Limb

Keng Yih Chew, Geoffrey Shaw, Hongshi Yu, Andrew J Pask, Marilyn B Renfree



BACKGROUND: At birth, marsupial neonates have precociously developed forelimbs. The development of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) hindlimbs lags significantly behind that of the forelimbs. This differs from the grey short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, which has relatively similar fore- and hindlimbs at birth. This study examines the expression of the key patterning genes TBX4, TBX5, PITX1, FGF8, and SHH in developing limb buds in the tammar wallaby. RESULTS: All genes examined were highly conserved with orthologues from opossum and mouse. TBX4 expression appeared earlier in development than in the mouse, but later than in the opossum. SHH expression is restricted to the zone ..

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