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Neurogenesis in non-model systems

This thematic series, published in Neural Development, is guest edited by:

Michael Layden, PhD, Lehigh University, United States of America;
Simon G. Sprecher, PhD, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

Nervous systems are the heart of animal evolution. The diversity in animal behaviors, sensory biology, motility, and physiologies are driven, in a large part, by the changes to the underlying neurobiology that control them. As such, understanding the diversity of neurobiology in animals is central to our understanding of animal evolution.

One way to uncover neuronal diversity is to identify how changes to neurogenic processes and neural differentiation pathways in different species contribute to forming their distinct nervous systems. Until recently, studies were limited to a few model organisms and represented a small fraction of the existing diversity. The explosion of reverse genetic strategies coupled with the genomics revolution has unlocked our ability to investigate neurogenesis in nearly any organism. This era is allowing researchers to gain a broad perspective about how nervous systems are constructed and function in a wide array of interesting species that will ultimately provide the critical insights necessary to understand how changes in neurogenic programs have contributed to animal evolution.

Here we present a special collection of articles focused on understanding neurogenesis in an array of diverse phylogenetically informative species highlighting fundamental commonalities and differences in neuronal development throughout the animal kingdom.

Submission guidelines can be found here. Articles should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies.

  1. The complex morphology of neurons requires precise control of their microtubule cytoskeleton. This is achieved by microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that regulate the assembly and stability of microtubules...

    Authors: Johanna E. M. Kraus, Henriette Busengdal, Yulia Kraus, Harald Hausen and Fabian Rentzsch
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:11
  2. Nervous systems of bilaterian animals generally consist of two cell types: neurons and glial cells. Despite accumulating data about the many important functions glial cells serve in bilaterian nervous systems,...

    Authors: Larisa Sheloukhova and Hiroshi Watanabe
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:10
  3. Acoel flatworms have played a relevant role in classical (and current) discussions on the evolutionary origin of bilaterian animals. This is mostly derived from the apparent simplicity of their body architectu...

    Authors: Pedro Martinez, Xavier Bailly, Simon G. Sprecher and Volker Hartenstein
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:9
  4. The last common ancestor of cephalopods and vertebrates lived about 580 million years ago, yet coleoid cephalopods, comprising squid, cuttlefish and octopus, have evolved an extraordinary behavioural repertoir...

    Authors: Ali M. Elagoz, Marie Van Dijck, Mark Lassnig and Eve Seuntjens
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:8
  5. Adult neurogenesis, which takes place in both vertebrate and invertebrate species, is the process by which new neurons are born and integrated into existing functional neural circuits, long after embryonic dev...

    Authors: Alex J. Edwards and Barbara S. Beltz
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:7
  6. Chaetognaths are a clade of marine worm-like invertebrates with a heavily debated phylogenetic position. Their nervous system superficially resembles the protostome type, however, knowledge regarding the molec...

    Authors: June F. Ordoñez and Tim Wollesen
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:5
  7. The evolution of central nervous systems (CNSs) is a fascinating and complex topic; further work is needed to understand the genetic and developmental homology between organisms with a CNS. Research into a lim...

    Authors: Nicole B. Webster and Néva P. Meyer
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:4
  8. The evolutionary origins of animal nervous systems remain contentious because we still have a limited understanding of neural development in most major animal clades. Annelids — a species-rich group with centr...

    Authors: Allan M. Carrillo-Baltodano, Rory D. Donnellan, Elizabeth A. Williams, Gáspár Jékely and José M. Martín-Durán
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:3
  9. Mosquito-borne diseases account for nearly 1 million human deaths annually, yet we have a limited understanding of developmental events that influence host-seeking behavior and pathogen transmission in mosquit...

    Authors: Chang Yin, Takeshi Morita and Jay Z. Parrish
    Citation: Neural Development 2024 19:2
  10. Neocortex development has been extensively studied in altricial rodents such as mouse and rat. Identification of alternative animal models along the “altricial-precocial” spectrum in order to better model and ...

    Authors: Oluwaseun Mustapha, Thomas Grochow, James Olopade and Simone A. Fietz
    Citation: Neural Development 2023 18:7