The highly controlled, reiterative nature of somite formation in zebrafish is also characteristic of somite formation in other vertebrate species, and a number of models have been proposed to account for the precise regulation of this process.
The zebrafish has long been recognized as an ideal organism for cellular and histological studies of somite patterning.
genetic screens for zebrafish mutants defective in somitogenesis have identified over 50 genes that are necessary for normal somite development.
Although there is underlying segmentation in the trunk of all vertebrates, the segmented nature of fish remains among the most obvious in the adult animal. Even a cursory examination of the filets in a seafood store reveals that the fish trunk is composed of reiterated blocks of muscle, cartilage, and bone. These serially homologous mesodermal segments are derived from somites that form during embryogenesis
This molecular clock would translate a smooth maturational or positional gradient present in the psm into a spatially periodic pattern, allowing somitogenesis to occur at regular intervals in successive, uniformly sized blocks of cells
notochord precursors begin to express signaling molecules such as Sonic hedgehog
notochord and prechordal plate, and they exert profound patterning influences on surrounding tissues
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