IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 11 / DOI: 10.52586/5004
Open Access Original Research
Transcriptome profiling reveals gene regulation programs underlying tail development in the Ornamented Pygmy frog Microhyla fissipes
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1 Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 610041 Chengdu, Sichuan, China
2 Section on Molecular Morphogenesis, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, MD 20892, USA
*Correspondence: (Yun-Bo Shi); (Jianping Jiang)
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(11), 1001–1012;
Submitted: 2 July 2021 | Revised: 25 July 2021 | Accepted: 10 August 2021 | Published: 30 November 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Introduction: Tadpole tail develops from the tailbud, an apparently homogenous mass of cells at the posterior of the embryo. While much progress has been made in understanding the origin and the induction of the tailbud, the subsequent outgrowth and differentiation have received much less attention, particularly with regard to global gene expression changes. Methods: By using RNA-seq with SMRT and further analyses, we report the transcriptome profiles at four key stages of tail development, from a small tailbud to the onset of feeding (S18, S19, S21 and S28) in Microhyla fissipes, an anuran with a number of advantages for developmental and genetic studies. Results: We obtained 48,826 transcripts and discovered 8807 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs, q < 0.05) among these four developmental stages. We functionally classified these DETs by using GO and KEGG analyses and revealed 110 significantly enriched GO categories and 6 highly enriched KEGG pathways (Protein digestion and absorption; ECM-receptor interaction; Pyruvate metabolism; Fatty acid degradation; Valine, leucine and isoleucine degradation; and Glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism) that are likely critically involved in developmental changes in the tail. In addition, analyses of DETs between any two individual stages demonstrated the involvement of distinct biological pathways/GO terms at different stages of tail development. Furthermore, the most dramatic changes in gene expression profile are those between S28 and any of the other three stages. The upregulated DETs at S28 are highly enriched in “myosin complex” and “potassium channel activity”, which are important for muscle contraction, a critical function of the tail that the animal needs by the end of embryogenesis. Additionally, many DETs and enriched pathways discovered here during tail development, such as HDAC1, Hes1 and Hippo signaling pathway, have also been reported to be vital for the tissue/organ regeneration, suggesting conserved functions between development and regeneration. Conclusion: The present staudy provides a golbal overview of gene expression patterns and new insights into the mechanism involved in anuran tail development and regeneration.

SMRT sequencing
Tail development
Microhyla fissipes
Fig. 1.
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