OUC Published New Findings in Current Biology

On November 22, the research team led by Prof. Dong Bo from the Fang Zongxi Center for Marine EVO-DEVO at OUC published a significant research breakthrough in Current Biology. The research, titled A collagen-rich arch in the urochordate notochord coordinates cell shaping and multi-tissue elongation, was published online as a full-length article. The paper, for the first time, reveals the presence of a collagen-rich supercellular arch surrounding the notochord tissue in tunicates, elucidating that the formation of this structure is based on the flow of collagen and the shaping of the notochord, muscles, and epidermis forming a mold. The study further explores that this supercellular arch structure not only maintains the mechanical properties of notochord tissue cells and promotes notochord elongation but also coordinates the growth and movement of multiple tissues during larval tail extension, uncovering a new mechanism of mechanical signal transmission between tissues mediated by the extracellular matrix, thereby coordinating the morphogenesis of multiple tissues.

This research demonstrates the regulatory roles of the collagen-based notochord sheath and supercellular arch in the morphogenesis of notochord tissue and the coordinated deformation of multiple tissues. It provides important insights into how cells construct their extracellular matrix environment, utilize these extracellular structures to indirectly regulate their own movement and deformation behaviors, and transmit signals over long distances to coordinate the movement of multiple tissues.