Ossification and development of vertebrae in the Balkan crested newt Triturus ivanbureschi (Salamandridae, Caudata)
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© 2017 Elsevier GmbH.
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Vertebral morphology, development, and evolution have been investigated for many decades, especially in the recent evo-devo era. Nevertheless, comparative data on development and ossification modes within the major tetrapod groups are scarce and frequently suffer from the use of a simplistic approach, resulting in simplistic generalizations about the formation of tetrapod vertebrae. Here, we describe the development and ossification of trunk vertebrae in Triturus ivanbureschi (Salamandridae, Caudata) and compare the results with published data on other related taxa. In so doing, we focus on the modes of ossification and development of the centrum and neural arches by analysing three developmental stages defined by the degree of limb development: stages 47, 52, and 62 according to Glu¨cksohn (1932). Our examination of histological sections through trunk vertebrae enabled us to identify three modes of ossification within single trunk vertebrae: (i) perichordal (direct ossification of the connective tissue surrounding the notochord); (ii) perichondrial (direct ossification of the perichondrium, consisting of cartilage-covering connective tissue), and (iii) endochondral (ossification within the preformed cartilage template). We also noted the presence of intravertebral or notochordal cartilage. Although our results indicate that this cartilage develops within the notochord surrounded by the continuous notochordal sheath, more detailed further studies could shed light on its origin and development.
Keywords:Vertebral column; Trunk vertebrae; Vertebral centrum formation; Notochordal cartilage; Salamanders
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