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The Sea Urchin Regulome in Development


Ashby, Meredith Howard (2007) The Sea Urchin Regulome in Development. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/523T-5R49.


During development an organism undergoes many rounds of pattern formation, generating ever greater complexity with each ensuing round of cell division and specification. The instructions for executing this process are encoded in the DNA, in cis-regulatory modules that direct the expression of developmental transcription factors and signaling molecules. Each transcription factor binding site within a cis-regulatory module contributes information about when, where or how much a gene is turned on, and by dissecting the modules driving a given gene, all the inputs governing expression of the gene can be accurately identified. Furthermore, by mapping the output of each gene to the inputs of other genes, it is possible to reverse engineer developmental circuits and even whole networks, revealing common bilaterian strategies for specifying progenitor fields, locking down regulatory states, and driving development forward. The S. purpuratus endomesodermal gene network is one of the best-characterized developmental networks, with interactions between over 40 regulatory genes mapped by perturbation experiments. With the sequencing of the sea urchin genome, it is possible to move towards the definitive completion of this network. By identifying all the transcription factors in the genome and determining their expression patterns, any previously unrecognized players can be incorporated into the network. In addition, such a comprehensive examination of transcription factor usage in maximally indirect development has not been done and will itself yield interesting conclusions.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:bHLH; development; homeobox; nuclear receptor; sox; transcription factor; urchin
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Major Option:Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Davidson, Eric H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Rothenberg, Ellen V. (chair)
  • Davidson, Eric H.
  • Bronner, Marianne E.
  • Sternberg, Paul W.
Defense Date:5 October 2006
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10192006-114144
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4179
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:24 Oct 2006
Last Modified:19 Feb 2020 18:39

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