One goal of evolutionary developmental biology is to understand the role of development in the origin of phenotypic novelty and convergent evolution. Geckos are an ideal system to study this topic, as they are species‐rich and exhibit a suite of diverse morphologies—many of which have independently evolved multiple times within geckos.
We characterized and discretized the embryonic development of Lepidodactylus lugubris—an all‐female, parthenogenetic gecko species. We also used soft‐tissue μCT to characterize the development of the brain and central nervous system, which is difficult to visualize using traditional microscopy techniques. Additionally, we sequenced and assembled a de novo transcriptome for a late‐stage embryo as a resource for generating future developmental tools. Herein, we describe the derived and conserved patterns of L. lugubris development in the context of squamate evolution and development.
This embryonic staging series, μCT data, and transcriptome together serve as critical enabling resources to study morphological evolution and development, the evolution and development of parthenogenesis, and other questions concerning vertebrate evolution and development in an emerging gecko model.
Griffing, Aaron H.; Sanger, Thomas J.; Daza, Juan D.; Nielsen, Stuart V.; Pinto, Brendan J.; Stanley, Edward L.; and Gamble, Tony, "Embryonic Development of A Parthenogenetic Vertebrate, The Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris)" (2019). Biological Sciences Faculty Research and Publications. 809.
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