Genes induced during the early developmental stages of the Cane Toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus
Metamorphosis, a critical stage in the development of toads and frogs, involves rapid levels of morphological change. In the current study, we have used microarray analysis to identify shifts in gene expression between tadpole and toadlet stages of the cane toad, Bufo (Chaunus) marinus. Here, we report on nine genes that show the greatest induction during metamorphosis; the gut-associated gastrokine and trefoil factor, blood components haemoglobins alpha/beta, apolipoprotein and serum albumin, a nasal gene olfactomedin, a lens gene gamma-crystallin, and a novel gene with low homology to frog harderin. We present both temporal and spatial expression patterns of these genes identified in developing and adult cane toads. This study extends our knowledge of the molecular basis of toad metamorphosis, and not only offers insights to the genes induced during the general remodelling that occurs but also reveals possible targets for control and manipulation of amphibian pest species, for example, the cane toad in Australia.
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