Gene expression profile during the life cycle of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis

Kaoru Azumi, Sorin V. Sabau, Manabu Fujie, Takeshi Usami, Ryo Koyanagi, Takeshi Kawashima, Shigeki Fujiwara, Michio Ogasawara, Masanobu Satake, Masaru Nonaka, Hong Gang Wang, Yutaka Satou, Nori Satoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Recent whole-genome studies and in-depth expressed sequence tag (EST) analyses have identified most of the developmentally relevant genes in the urochordate, Ciona intestinalis. In this study, we made use of a large-scale oligo-DNA microarray to further investigate and identify genes with specific or correlated expression profiles, and we report global gene expression profiles for about 66% of all the C. intestinalis genes that are expressed during its life cycle. We succeeded in categorizing the data set into 5 large clusters and 49 sub-clusters based on the expression profile of each gene. This revealed the higher order of gene expression profiles during the developmental and aging stages. Furthermore, a combined analysis of microarray data with the EST database revealed the gene groups that were expressed at a specific stage or in a specific organ of the adult. This study provides insights into the complex structure of ascidian gene expression, identifies co-expressed gene groups and marker genes and makes predictions for the biological roles of many uncharacterized genes. This large-scale oligo-DNA microarray for C. intestinalis should facilitate the understanding of global gene expression and gene networks during the development and aging of a basal chordate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-582
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 15


  • Aging
  • Ascidian
  • Ciona intestinalis
  • Clustering
  • DNA microarray
  • Development
  • Gene expression
  • Organ-specific gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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