vodnansti jeseteriVertebrates are characterized by formation of outer surface by a sheath of cells called ectoderm, while the inner lining of the primitive gut is made from endoderm. These two layers get together in the anterior part of digestive tract, so called farynx. The team of Rober Černý with Martin Minařík as the first author (Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Science, Czech Republic) came with findings, which rewrite the present opinions of developmental and evolutionary biology. The basal ray-finned fishes such as bichirs, gars and sturgeons, sometimes considered living fossils, have a facial part of head composed of endodermal cells of a pre-oral part of the gut, which is very archaic characteristic expected only in ancestors of vertebrates.
Our Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters supplemented the study with a representative of sturgeons and with two co-author positions (Martin Pšenička and David Gela) and two other colleagues mentioned in acknowledgement (Marek Rodina and Martin Kahanec) became inscribed in the prestigious journal Nature.
For more info see a press release here: or the manuscript on the official web page of Nature:, or a publicly accessible view-only version:

TV interview on ČT24 starts at 15:34 minute:

Full reference: Minarik, M., Stundl, J., Fabian, P., Jandzik, D., Metscher, B.D., Psenicka, M., Gela, D., Osorio-Pérez, A., Arias-Rodriguez, L., Horácek, I., Cerny, R. Pre-oral gut contributes to facial structures in non-teleost fishes. Nature, 547: 209-212. doi:10.1038/nature23008 (IF=40.137)


Picture legend: SEM images of sturgeon head with endodermal contribution pseudocoloured yellow. Antero-ventral views, 10 days post hatching; mb, medial barbel; lb, lateral barbel; ao, ampullary organs; rb, rostrum; llo, lateral line organs; ll, lower lip.

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