Somite Compartments in Anamniotes

Anat Embryol (Berl). 2006 Dec;211 Suppl 1:9-19. doi: 10.1007/s00429-006-0127-8. Epub 2006 Sep 28.


Somites are a common feature of the phylotypic stage of embryos of all higher chordates. In amniote species like mouse and chick, somite development has been the subject of intense research over many decades, giving insight into the morphological and molecular processes leading to somite compartmentalization and subsequent differentiation. In anamniotes, somite development is much less understood. Except for recent data from zebrafish, and morphological studies in Xenopus, very little is known about the formation of somite compartments and the differentiation of somite derivatives in anamniotes. Here, we give a brief overview on the development of myotome, sclerotome and dermomyotome in various anamniote organisms, and point out the different mechanisms of somite development between anamniotes and the established amniote model systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amphibians / embryology*
  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Chordata, Nonvertebrate / embryology*
  • Fishes / embryology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Somites / physiology*