Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina

Höhn S, Hallmann A (2016)
BMC Developmental Biology 16(1): 35.

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Journal Article | Published | English
Abstract
Background The multicellular volvocine alga Pleodorina is intermediate in organismal complexity between its unicellular relative, Chlamydomonas, and its multicellular relative, Volvox, which shows complete division of labor between different cell types. The volvocine green microalgae form a group of genera closely related to the genus Volvox within the order Volvocales (Chlorophyta). Embryos of multicellular volvocine algae consist of a cellular monolayer that, depending on the species, is either bowl-shaped or comprises a sphere. During embryogenesis, multicellular volvocine embryos turn their cellular monolayer right-side out to expose their flagella. This process is called ‘inversion’ and serves as simple model for epithelial folding in metazoa. While the development of spherical Volvox embryos has been the subject of detailed studies, the inversion process of bowl-shaped embryos is less well understood. Therefore, it has been unclear how the inversion of a sphere might have evolved from less complicated processes. Results In this study we characterized the inversion of initially bowl-shaped embryos of the 64- to 128-celled volvocine species Pleodorina californica. We focused on the movement patterns of the cell sheet, cell shape changes and changes in the localization of cytoplasmic bridges (CBs) connecting the cells. The development of living embryos was recorded using time-lapse light microscopy. Moreover, fixed and sectioned embryos throughout inversion and at successive stages of development were analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy. We generated three-dimensional models of the identified cell shapes including the localization of CBs. Conclusions In contrast to descriptions concerning volvocine embryos with lower cell numbers, the embryonic cells of P. californica undergo non-simultaneous and non-uniform cell shape changes. In P. californica, cell wedging in combination with a relocation of the CBs to the basal cell tips explains the curling of the cell sheet during inversion. In volvocine genera with lower organismal complexity, the cell shape changes and relocation of CBs are less pronounced in comparison to P. californica, while they are more pronounced in all members of the genus Volvox. This finding supports an increasing significance of the temporal and spatial regulation of cell shape changes and CB relocations with both increasing cell number and organismal complexity during evolution of differentiated multicellularity.
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Article Processing Charge funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Open Access Publication Fund of Bielefeld University.
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Höhn S, Hallmann A. Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina. BMC Developmental Biology. 2016;16(1): 35.
Höhn, S., & Hallmann, A. (2016). Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina. BMC Developmental Biology, 16(1): 35.
Höhn, S., and Hallmann, A. (2016). Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina. BMC Developmental Biology 16:35.
Höhn, S., & Hallmann, A., 2016. Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina. BMC Developmental Biology, 16(1): 35.
S. Höhn and A. Hallmann, “Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina”, BMC Developmental Biology, vol. 16, 2016, : 35.
Höhn, S., Hallmann, A.: Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina. BMC Developmental Biology. 16, : 35 (2016).
Höhn, Stephanie, and Hallmann, Armin. “Distinct shape-shifting regimes of bowl-shaped cell sheets – embryonic inversion in the multicellular green alga Pleodorina”. BMC Developmental Biology 16.1 (2016): 35.
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