The dorsal tubular central nervous system (CNS) of the ascidian tadpole larva is a diagnostic feature by which the chordate affinities of this group, as a whole, are recognized. We have used two methods to identify larval neurons of Ciona intestinalis. The first is serial electron microscopy (EM), as part of a dedicated study of the visceral ganglion (1), and the second is the transient transfection of neural plate progeny with green fluorescent protein (GFP) (2), to visualize the soma and its neurites of individual neurons in whole-mounted larvae of C. intestinalis. Our observations reveal that ascidian larval neurons are simple inform, with a single axonal neurite arising from a soma that is either monopolar or has only very few, relatively simple neurites arising from it, as part of a presumed dendritic arbor. Somata in the visceral ganglion giving rise to axons descending in the caudal nerve cord are presumed to be those of motor neurons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)