Developmental fates of larval tissues after metamorphosis in ascidian Halocynthia roretzi. I. Origin of mesodermal tissues of the juvenile

Dev Biol. 1997 Dec 15;192(2):199-210. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1997.8772.


Cell lineages during ascidian embryogenesis are invariant. In a previous study, the developmental fate of each blastomere during embryogenesis of the ascidian Halocynthia roretzi was analyzed in detail by intracellular injection of a tracer molecule, horseradish peroxidase (Nishida, H., Dev. Biol. 121, 526-541, 1987). In the present study, the developmental fates of various larval mesodermal tissues after metamorphosis in H. roretzi were traced by labeling each precursor blastomere of larval tissues. Mesenchyme cells of larvae gave rise to tonic cells of juveniles. Trunk ventral cells gave rise to body-wall (atrial siphon and latitudinal mantle) muscle, heart, and pericardium of juvenile. Trunk lateral cells gave rise to blood (coelomic) cells as well as body-wall (oral siphon and longitudinal mantle) muscle. Larval muscle and notochord cells did not contribute to juvenile tissues. It was revealed that it is predictable to which juvenile tissue a blastomere of the 110-cell embryo will give rise. Therefore, in ascidian development, developmental fates after metamorphosis were almost invariant with regard to cell type of descendants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastomeres / cytology
  • Cell Lineage
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryonic Development
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Larva
  • Mesoderm / cytology*
  • Metamorphosis, Biological
  • Microinjections
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Notochord / cytology
  • Urochordata / growth & development*


  • Horseradish Peroxidase