The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2003 / Article

Mini-Review Article | Open Access

Volume 3 |Article ID 429239 |

A. J. Piekny, P. E. Mains, "Squeezing an Egg into a Worm: C. elegans Embryonic Morphogenesis", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 3, Article ID 429239, 12 pages, 2003.

Squeezing an Egg into a Worm: C. elegans Embryonic Morphogenesis


We review key morphogenetic events that occur during Caenorhabditis elegans ( embryogenesis. Morphogenesis transforms tissues from one shape into another through cell migrations and shape changes, often utilizing highly conserved actin-based contractile systems. Three major morphogenetic events occur during C. elegans embryogenesis: (1) dorsal intercalation, during which two rows of dorsal epidermal cells intercalate to form a single row; (2) ventral enclosure, where the dorsally located sheet of epidermal cells stretches to the ventral midline, encasing the embryo within a single epithelial sheet; and (3) elongation, during which actin-mediated contractions within the epithelial sheet lengthens the embryo. Here, we describe the known molecular players involved in each of these processes.

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