Ci-POU-IV expression identifies PNS neurons in embryos and larvae of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis

Simona Candiani, Roberta Pennati, Diana Oliveri, Annamaria Locascio, Margherita Branno, Patrizio Castagnola, Mario Pestarino, Fiorenza De Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several lines of evidence suggest that members of the POU domain gene family may regulate invertebrate and vertebrate neurogenesis. In particular, POU IV genes appear to be neural genes involved in differentiation of sensory neurons, as demonstrated in mollusc, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans and vertebrates. In the present work, we describe the developmental expression of a homologue of POU IV genes, Ci-POU-IV, in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Ci-POU-IV is expressed in the precursor cells of the neural system during development and in the neural system of the larva. In particular, transcripts are prevalent in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), with expression in the central nervous system (CNS) restricted to the posterior sensory vesicle. Therefore, the evolution of a complex sensory system seems to be under the control of a common genetic mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopment Genes and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Ciona intestinalis
  • Class IV POU genes
  • Developmental expression
  • Evolution
  • Peripheral nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics


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