Analysis of metamorphosis gene Ci-meta2 expression in Ciona intestinalis
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The timing of genes expressed during metamorphosis can be crucial to the development of a normal adult phenotype. One gene, Ci-meta2 is currently being studied for its role in metamorphosis in Ciona intestinalis. This research attempts to determine the expression pattern of the Ci-meta2 gene in the metamorphosing juvenile and late tailbud embryo stages of Ciona intestinalis. Expression of Ci-meta2 was visualized through in situ hybridization. This study found staining in the papillae, head, and tail of late tailbud embryos and in the tail and papillae of metamorphosing juveniles. Results of this research suggest that that Ci-meta2 is definitely involved in metamorphosis; specifically, it appears to have a role in siphon formation, papillae formation, and tail reabsorption.