Background: In tunicates, the capacity to build an adult body via non-embryonic development (NED), i.e., asexual budding and whole body regeneration, has been gained or lost several times across the whole subphylum. A recent phylogeny of the family Styelidae revealed an independent acquisition of NED in the colonial species Polyandrocarpa zorritensis and highlighted a novel budding mode. In this paper, we provide the first detailed characterization of the asexual life cycle of P. zorritensis. Results: Bud formation occurs along a tubular protrusion of the adult epidermis, the stolon, in a vascularized area defined as budding nest. The bud arises through a folding of the epithelia of the stolon with the contribution of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells. This previously unreported mode of bud onset leads to the formation of a double vesicle, which starts to develop into a zooid through morphogenetic mechanisms common to other Styelidae. The budding nest can also continue to accumulate nutrients and develop into a round-shaped structure, designated as spherule, which represents a dormant form able to survive low temperatures. Conclusions: To understand the mechanisms of NED and their evolution, it is fundamental to start from a robust phylogenetic framework in order to select relevant species to compare. The anatomical description of P. zorritensis NED provides the foundation for future comparative studies on plasticity of budding and regeneration in tunicates.

Novel budding mode in Polyandrocarpa zorritensis: A model for comparative studies on asexual development and whole body regeneration

Mastrototaro F.
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2019

Abstract

Background: In tunicates, the capacity to build an adult body via non-embryonic development (NED), i.e., asexual budding and whole body regeneration, has been gained or lost several times across the whole subphylum. A recent phylogeny of the family Styelidae revealed an independent acquisition of NED in the colonial species Polyandrocarpa zorritensis and highlighted a novel budding mode. In this paper, we provide the first detailed characterization of the asexual life cycle of P. zorritensis. Results: Bud formation occurs along a tubular protrusion of the adult epidermis, the stolon, in a vascularized area defined as budding nest. The bud arises through a folding of the epithelia of the stolon with the contribution of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells. This previously unreported mode of bud onset leads to the formation of a double vesicle, which starts to develop into a zooid through morphogenetic mechanisms common to other Styelidae. The budding nest can also continue to accumulate nutrients and develop into a round-shaped structure, designated as spherule, which represents a dormant form able to survive low temperatures. Conclusions: To understand the mechanisms of NED and their evolution, it is fundamental to start from a robust phylogenetic framework in order to select relevant species to compare. The anatomical description of P. zorritensis NED provides the foundation for future comparative studies on plasticity of budding and regeneration in tunicates.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/255686
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