Cellular Processes of Notochord Formation

  • William C. SmithEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1029)


This review covers recent advances in our understanding of the cell biology and morphogenesis of the ascidian notochord. In its development, the ascidian notochord undergoes a rapid series of cellular and morphogenic events that transform a group of 40 loosely packed cells in the neurula embryo into a tubular column with central lumen in the larva. The ascidian notochord has been a subject of intensive research in recent years, and particular focus in this review will be on events associated with the development and function of polarized cell properties, and the mechanism of lumen formation.


Ascidian Ciona Notochord Planar cell polarity Morphogenesis Lumenization 



I thank Erin Newman-Smith, Matt Kourakis, and Di Jiang for their critical reading of this manuscript. This work is supported by award HD038701 from the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and Neuroscience Research InstituteUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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