Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Discuss Concepts Investigators discovered a Drosophila protein that triggers development of the nerve cord on the ventral side of the embryos. When an mRNA encoding the protein was injected into cells on the ventral side of Xenopus embryos, dorsal structures were formed on the ventral side, including incomplete heads. What do these findings suggest about the evolution of embryonic development?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The findings of the evolution of embryonic development when the ventral side of Xenopus embryo shows dorsal structures.


Xenopus is a genus of aquatic frogs. The development of the embryo in amphibians is influenced by the unequal distribution of the yolk. It is observed that a dorsal–ventral axis is developed by the gray crescent, and the gastrulation takes place at the dorsal lip of the blastopore. It is on the dorsal blastopore that a neural plate, precursor for spinal cord, and head is formed.


The presence of a dorsal nerve cord is a characteristic feature observed in chordates. On the other hand, the presence of a nerve cord on the ventral side is a characteristic feature of invertebrates. In the given case, when mRNA encodes for the protein development of the nerve cord from Drosophila, it is injected into the amphibian development of dorsal structures and is seen...

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