The cyclops mutation blocks specification of the floor plate of the zebrafish central nervous system

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Abstract

THE floor plate is a set of epithelial cells present in the ventral midline of the neural tube in vertebrates1 that seems to have an important role in the developmental patterning2 of central nervous system fibre pathways3,4, and arrangements of specific neurons5. The floor plate arises from dorsal ectodermal cells closely associated with the mesoderm that forms notochord6, and it may depend on interactions from the notochord for its specification. To learn the nature of these interactions we have analysed mutations in zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio). We report here that in wild-type embryos the floor plate develops as a simply organized single cell row, but that its development fails in embryos bearing the newly discovered zygotic lethal 'cyclops' mutation, cyc-1(b16). Mosaic analysis establishes that cyc-1 blocks floor plate development autonomously and reveals the presence of homeogenetic induction between floor plate cells.

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Hatta, K., Kimmel, C., Ho, R. et al. The cyclops mutation blocks specification of the floor plate of the zebrafish central nervous system. Nature 350, 339–341 (1991) doi:10.1038/350339a0

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