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Evolution of cell fate specification modes in spiral cleavage

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EVOCELFATE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EVOCELFATE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EVOCELFATE" about.

repeatedly    autonomously    uncover    comprehensively    lineages    regulators    phylogenetic    autonomous    specification    conditionally    spiral    poorly    occurs    phenotypic    hypothesis    experimental    closely    specify    adult    core    seq    spiralia    progenitor    shifted    live    species    segregation    bioinformatics    context    molecular    modes    imaging    almost    cleavage    differentially    fill    naturally    tests    embryos    evolutionary    programs    transcriptional    proteomics    conditional    evolution    oocytes    inputs    largely    developmental    supplied    phyla    unexplored    precocious    stereotypical    variation    animal    questions    spiralian    driving    larvae    remarkably    characters    repeated    adultation    rna    combine    guided    posterodorsal    chromatin    mechanisms    half    gap    fates    insights    mode    cleaving    clade    embryonic    biology    homologous    fate    cell    ancestral    maternal    structures    techniques    interactions    evolve    fundamental    incorporated   

Project "EVOCELFATE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: 327 MILE END ROAD
city: LONDON
postcode: E1 4NS

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙500˙000 €
 EC max contribution 1˙500˙000 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-02-01   to  2024-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 1˙500˙000.00


 Project objective

Spiral cleavage is a highly stereotypical early embryonic program, and the ancestral, defining feature to Spiralia, a major phylogenetic clade including almost half of the animal phyla. Remarkably, spiral-cleaving embryos specify homologous cell fates (e.g. the progenitor cell of posterodorsal structures) conditionally –via cell interactions– or autonomously –via segregation of maternal inputs. This variation occurs naturally, even between closely related species, and has been related to the precocious formation of adult characters (adultation) in larvae of autonomous spiral-cleaving species. How spiralian lineages repeatedly shifted between these two cell fate specification modes is largely unexplored, because the mechanisms controlling spiral cleavage are still poorly characterized. This project tests the hypothesis that maternal chromatin and transcriptional regulators differentially incorporated in oocytes with autonomous spiral cleavage explain the evolution of this mode of cell fate specification. Through a comparative and phylogenetic-guided approach, we will combine bioinformatics, live imaging, and molecular and experimental techniques to: (i) Comprehensively identify differentially supplied maternal factors among spiral cleaving oocytes with distinct cell fate specification modes using comparative RNA-seq and proteomics; (ii) Uncover the developmental mechanisms driving conditional spiral cleavage, which is the ancestral embryonic mode; and (iii) Investigate how maternal chromatin and transcriptional regulators define early cell fates, and whether these factors account for the repeated evolution of autonomous specification modes. Our results will fill a large gap of knowledge in our understanding of spiral cleavage and its evolution. In a broader context, this project will deliver fundamental insights into two core questions in evolutionary developmental biology: how early embryonic programs evolve, and how they contribute to phenotypic change.

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The information about "EVOCELFATE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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