Branchiostoma lanceolatum

Overview
Full NameBranchiostoma lanceolatum
GenusBranchiostoma
Specieslanceolatum
Common NameAmphioxus
AbbreviationB. lanceolatum
Interest

The phylogenetic position of amphioxus, together with its relatively simple and evolutionarily conserved morphology and genome structure, has led to its use as a model for studies of vertebrate evolution. In particular, recent development of technical approaches, as well as access to the complete amphioxus genome sequence, for the Mediterranean amphioxus, Branchiostoma lanceolatum has provided the community with tools with which to study the invertebrate-chordate to vertebrate transition (Bertrand & Escriva, 2011).

Location:

Mediterranean Sea and North-East Atlantic

Attractive features
  • Controlled spawning induction
  • Transparent embryos
  • Micromanipulation techniques available allowing functional approaches in classical embryology and developmental biology
Contributions

Studies with different amphioxus species have helped answer questions about the evolution of the chordate genome, and particularly the evolution of the Hox cluster structure and cis-regulatory elements, the evolution of the control of axial patterning in chordates, and the appearance of vertebrate-specific structures such as the head.

Tools
  • Assembled and annotated genome sequence (550 MB) and many transcriptome resources soon publically available
  • Epigenomic resources including Chip-seq, ATAC-seq, Methylome, CAGE-seq, and 4C for a panel of transcription factors are available for several developmental stages
Drawbacks

Due to a short spawning period (May-July), in vivo experiments are restricted to a short period only. Their life cycle is also relatively long, about 2 years to reach adulthood, and no knockdown techniques are available (no morpholinos, RNAi or siRNA).

Selected references
  • Bertrand S. & Escriva H. (2011) Evolutionary crossroads in developmental biology: amphioxus. Development 138: 4819-30
Transcript Browser
The following browser provides a quick view for new visitors. Use the searching mechanism to find specific features.
NameUnique NameType
BlTCONS00000026BlTCONS00000026transcript
BlTCONS00000027BlTCONS00000027mRNA
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BlTCONS00000043BlTCONS00000043mRNA
BlTCONS00000044BlTCONS00000044mRNA
BlTCONS00000045BlTCONS00000045mRNA
BlTCONS00000046BlTCONS00000046mRNA
BlTCONS00000047BlTCONS00000047mRNA
BlTCONS00000048BlTCONS00000048mRNA
BlTCONS00000049BlTCONS00000049mRNA
BlTCONS00000050BlTCONS00000050mRNA

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