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Henry, JQ, Lesoway MP, Perry KJ, Osborne CC, Shankland M, Lyons DC.  2017.  Beyond the sea: Crepidula atrasolea as a spiralian model system. International Journal of Developmental Biology. 61:479-493.   10.1387/ijdb.170110jh   AbstractWebsite

This paper introduces the black-footed slipper snail, Crepidula atrasolea, as a new model for biological studies in the Spiralia. C. atrasolea is a calyptraeid gastropod, and congener of the Atlantic slipper snail, C. fornicata. Like C. fornicata, C. atrasolea shares a sedentary, filter-feeding, protandrous lifestyle, but is preferable as a developmental model because of its short generation time, year-round reproduction, and direct development. In our lab, individuals go from egg to reproductive females in under six months, as compared to an estimated 1-2 years for C. fornicata. Here we provide details for collecting and transporting animals, setting up inland aquaria, and maintaining laboratory colonies of C. atrasolea. We also describe early development, which is similar to that in other calyptraeids. Females brood encapsulated embryos for three weeks, which hatch as "crawl-away" juveniles. We also present a developmental transcriptome for C. atrasolea, covering early cleavage through late organogenesis stages, as a useful tool for future studies of gene expression and function. We provide this information to the broader developmental community to facilitate widespread use of this system.

McIntyre, DC, Lyons DC, Martik M, McClay DR.  2014.  Branching out: Origins of the sea urchin larval skeleton in development and evolution. Genesis. 52:173-185.   10.1002/dvg.22756   AbstractWebsite

It is a challenge to understand how the information encoded in DNA is used to build a three-dimensional structure. To explore how this works the assembly of a relatively simple skeleton has been examined at multiple control levels. The skeleton of the sea urchin embryo consists of a number of calcite rods produced by 64 skeletogenic cells. The ectoderm supplies spatial cues for patterning, essentially telling the skeletogenic cells where to position themselves and providing the factors for skeletal growth. Here, we describe the information known about how this works. First the ectoderm must be patterned so that the signaling cues are released from precise positions. The skeletogenic cells respond by initiating skeletogenesis immediately beneath two regions (one on the right and the other on the left side). Growth of the skeletal rods requires additional signaling from defined ectodermal locations, and the skeletogenic cells respond to produce a membrane-bound template in which the calcite crystal grows. Important in this process are three signals, fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and Wnt5. Each is necessary for explicit tasks in skeleton production. genesis 52:173-185. (c) 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.