Meeting Abstract

115-7  Thursday, Jan. 7 11:30  Making an Eye: Optic Vesicle Morphogenesis in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii KOENIG, KM*; GROSS, JM; University of Texas at Austin

Photoreception is a dominant sensory tool found in the majority of taxa across the Metazoa. Photoreceptive organs range in complexity from a single photoreceptor cell, pigmented eyespots and cups, to complicated organs that focus, reflect and absorb light in order to resolve images. Very little is known about how these structures develop and how a simple photoreceptive organ can evolve and elaborate into a more complicated form. Our interest is to better understand the morphogenesis of these complex sensory systems. The single-chambered eye of the squid Doryteuthis pealeii is an ideal system to study morphogenesis because eye formation occurs on the exterior of the embryo and is easily visualized. The cephalopod eye is assembled through the internalization of two bilateral retina placodes by the future lens and iris tissue. This internalization event generates the optic vesicles, which will continue to proliferate and develop, ultimately differentiating into all the cell types that compose the eye. We have established in vivo imaging protocols using long-term light-sheet microscopy that allow us to better understand how cell division, cell migration and cell shape change may contribute to this morphogenetic process.