A Transcriptional Lineage of the Early C. elegans Embryo

Developmental Cell
Sophia C TintoriBob Goldstein


During embryonic development, cells must establish fates, morphologies, and behaviors in coordination with one another to form a functional body. A prevalent hypothesis for how this coordination is achieved is that each cell's fate and behavior is determined by a defined mixture of RNAs. Only recently has it become possible to measure the full suite of transcripts in a single cell. Here we quantify genome-wide mRNA abundance in each cell of the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo up to the 16-cell stage. We describe spatially dynamic expression, quantify cell-specific differential activation of the zygotic genome, and identify genes that were previously unappreciated as being critical for development. We present an interactive data visualization tool that allows broad access to our dataset. This genome-wide single-cell map of mRNA abundance, alongside the well-studied life history and fate of each cell, describes at a cellular resolution the mRNA landscape that guides development.


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Jul 23, 2020·Molecular Biology of the Cell·Lénaïg DéfachellesNeedhi Bhalla
Mar 24, 2018·Nature Communications·D T SeversonB Schuster-Böckler
Apr 8, 2020·Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology·Chee Kiang EweJoel H Rothman
Aug 14, 2019·Genetics·Jeremy Nance, Christian Frøkjær-Jensen
Mar 20, 2020·Scientific Reports·Garth R IlsleyNicholas M Luscombe
Jan 26, 2018·Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Developmental Biology·John Isaac Murray
Jun 18, 2020·Nature Communications·Hamim ZafarZiv Bar-Joseph

Related Concepts

DNA Sequence
Embryonic Structures, Nonmammalian
Poly(A) Tail
Structure of Zygote
Caenorhabditis elegans
Sequence Determinations, RNA
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
Cell Lineage
MRNA Differential Display

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