The pseudobranch of jawed vertebrates is a mandibular arch-derived gill
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The pseudobranch is a gill-like epithelial elaboration that sits behind the jaw of most fishes. This structure was classically regarded as a vestige of the ancestral gill arch-like condition of the gnathostome jaw. However, more recently, hypotheses of jaw evolution by transformation of a gill arch have been challenged, and the pseudobranch has alternatively been considered a specialised derivative of the second (hyoid) pharyngeal arch. Here, we demonstrate in the skate (Leucoraja erinacea) that the pseudobranch does, in fact, derive from the mandibular arch, and that it shares gene expression features and cell types with gills. We also show that the skate mandibular arch pseudobranch is supported by a spiracular cartilage that is patterned by a shh-expressing epithelial signalling centre. This closely parallels the condition seen in the gill arches, where cartilaginous appendages called branchial rays, which support the respiratory lamellae of the gills, are patterned by a shh-expressing gill arch epithelial ridge. Together with similar discoveries in zebrafish, our findings support serial homology of the pseudobranch and gills, and an ancestral origin of gill arch-like anatomical features from the gnathostome mandibular arch.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Hirschberger, C., & Gillis, J. A. The pseudobranch of jawed vertebrates is a mandibular arch-derived gill. Development, 149 (13), (2022): dev.200184, https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.200184.
Suggested CitationHirschberger, C., & Gillis, J. A. (2022). The pseudobranch of jawed vertebrates is a mandibular arch-derived gill. Development, 149 (13), dev.200184.
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