Jens H. Fritzenwanker

Jens H. Fritzenwanker
Georgetown University | GU · Department of Biology

PhD

About

18
Publications
4,252
Reads
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1,091
Citations
Introduction
I am generally fascinated by mechanisms which lead to morphological diversity. I am currently focusing on the evolution of axial patterning, posterior axis elongation, and nervous system development in the hemichordate Saccoglossus kowalevskii.
Additional affiliations
October 2015 - present
Georgetown University
Position
  • Professor
July 2015 - July 2015
Stanford University
Position
  • Co-lecturer
Description
  • Three-week course at Hopkins Marine Station. Focuses on the embryology and larval development of a broad range of marine invertebrate phyla.
March 2014 - September 2015
Stanford University
Position
  • Research Associate
Education
August 2004 - December 2007
October 1998 - July 2004

Publications

Publications (18)
Article
We investigated the early development of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, an emerging model system of the Cnidaria. Early cleavage stages are characterized by substantial variability from embryo to embryo, yet invariably lead to the formation of a coeloblastula. The coeloblastula undergoes a series of unusual broad invaginations-evaginations...
Article
A protocol was established to reproducibly induce spawning in the basal cnidarian Nematostella vectensis (Anthozoa). We found that a combination of feeding regime, dark-light cycle and temperature shift synergistically induced gametogenesis in adult polyps. Females lay between 100-600 eggs. This procedure led reproducibly to the production of thous...
Article
Full-text available
Background The Fox gene family is a large family of transcription factors that arose early in organismal evolution dating back to at least the common ancestor of metazoans and fungi. They are key components of many gene regulatory networks essential for embryonic development. Although much is known about the role of Fox genes during vertebrate deve...
Article
Full-text available
The Wnt family of secreted proteins has been proposed to play a conserved role in early specification of the bilaterian anteroposterior (A/P) axis. This hypothesis is based predominantly on data from vertebrate embryogenesis as well as planarian regeneration and homeostasis, indicating that canonical Wnt (cWnt) signaling endows cells with positiona...
Article
The trunk is a key feature of the bilaterian body plan. Despite spectacular morphological diversity in bilaterian trunk anatomies, most insights into trunk development are from segmented taxa, namely arthropods and chordates. Mechanisms of posterior axis elongation (PAE) and segmentation are tightly coupled in arthropods and vertebrates, making it...
Chapter
Hemichordates have long been recognized as a critical group for addressing hypotheses of chordate origins. Historically this was due to anatomical traits that resembled those of chordates, most strikingly the dorsolateral gill slits. As molecular data and phylogenetic analyses were found to support a close phylogenetic relationship between hemichor...
Article
Full-text available
In temperate climates, the recurring seasonal exigencies of winter represent a fundamental physiological challenge for a wide range of organisms. In response, many temperate insects enter diapause, an alternative developmental program, including developmental arrest, that allows organisms to synchronize their life cycle with seasonal environmental...
Article
Hemichordates are a phylum of marine invertebrate deuterostomes that are closely related to chordates, and represent one of the most promising models to provide insights into early deuterostome evolution. The genome of the hemichordate, Saccoglossus kowalevskii, reveals an extensive set of non-coding elements conserved across all three deuterostome...
Article
Full-text available
Acorn worms, also known as enteropneust (literally, 'gut-breathing') hemichordates, are marine invertebrates that share features with echinoderms and chordates. Together, these three phyla comprise the deuterostomes. Here we report the draft genome sequences of two acorn worms, Saccoglossus kowalevskii and Ptychodera flava. By comparing them with d...
Article
Full-text available
Hemichordate worms possess ciliated gills on their trunk, and the homology of these structures with the pharyngeal gill slits of chordates has long been a topic of debate in the fields of evolutionary biology and comparative anatomy. Here, we show conservation of transcription factor expression between the developing pharyngeal gill pores of the he...
Article
The enormous diversity of extant animal forms is a testament to the power of evolution, and much of this diversity has been achieved through the emergence of novel morphological traits. The origin of novel morphological traits is an extremely important issue in biology, and a frequent source of this novelty is co-option of pre-existing genetic syst...
Article
We have analyzed the evolution of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) tyrosine kinase genes throughout a wide range of animal phyla. No evidence for an FGFR gene was found in Porifera, but we tentatively identified an FGFR gene in the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens. The gene encodes a protein with three immunoglobulin-like domains, a single-pa...
Article
Full-text available
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signalling regulates essential developmental processes in vertebrates and invertebrates, but its role during early metazoan evolution remains obscure. Here, we analyse the function of FGF signalling in a non-bilaterian animal, the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. We identified the complete set of FGF ligands and FG...
Article
In 1924 Hilde Mangold and Hans Spemann transplanted the dorsal blastopore lip of an amphibian embryo to a host embryo's ventral side. This experiment revealed that the dorsal blastopore lip can act as an ‘organiser’ to induce a secondary body axis [1]. The organiser experiment has fueled research in vertebrate developmental biology until today 2 an...
Article
The winged helix transcription factor Forkhead and the zinc finger transcription factor Snail are crucially involved in germ layer formation in Bilateria. Here, we isolated and characterized a homolog of forkhead/HNF3 (FoxA/group 1) and of snail from a diploblast, the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis. We show that Nematostella forkhead expression...

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
To determine how mosquitoes invasive to North America adapt to colder climates.
Archived project
Investigate Anteroposterior axis patterning by early canonical Wnt signaling during hemichordate development
Archived project
Investigate how FGF signaling controls formation of the apical sensory organ in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis