Phylogenetic analysis of developmental and postnatal mouse cell lineages.

Department of Genome Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.
Evolution & Development (Impact Factor: 2.68). 01/2010; 12(1):84-94. DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-142X.2009.00393.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fate maps depict how cells relate together through past lineage relationships, and are useful tools for studying developmental and somatic processes. However, with existing technologies, it has not been possible to generate detailed fate maps of complex organisms such as the mouse. We and others have therefore proposed a novel approach, "phylogenetic fate mapping," where patterns of somatic mutation carried by the individual cells of an animal are used to retrospectively deduce lineage relationships through phylogenetic inference. Here, we have cataloged genomic polymorphisms at 324 mutation-prone polyguanine tracts for nearly 300 cells isolated from a single mouse, and have explored the cells' lineage relationships both phylogenetically and through a network-based approach. We present a model of mouse embryogenesis, where an early period of substantial cell mixing is followed by more coherent growth of clones later. We find that cells from certain tissues have greater numbers of close relatives in other specific tissues than expected from chance, suggesting that those populations arise from a similar pool of ancestral lineages. Finally, we have investigated the dynamics of cell turnover (the frequency of cell loss and replacement) in postnatal tissues. This work offers a longitudinal study of developmental lineages, from conception to adulthood, and provides insight into basic questions of mouse embryology as well as the somatic processes that occur after birth.

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