Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Single-cell transcriptomic analysis of zebrafish cranial neural crest reveals spatiotemporal regulation of lineage decisions during development.


Neural crest (NC) cells migrate throughout vertebrate embryos to give rise to a huge variety of cell types, but when and where lineages emerge and their regulation remain unclear. We have performed single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of cranial NC cells from the first pharyngeal arch in zebrafish over several stages during migration. Computational analysis combining pseudotime and real-time data reveals that these NC cells first adopt a transitional state, becoming specified mid-migration, with the first lineage decisions being skeletal and pigment, followed by neural and glial progenitors. In addition, by computationally integrating these data with RNA-seq data from a transgenic Wnt reporter line, we identify gene cohorts with similar temporal responses to Wnts during migration and show that one, Atp6ap2, is required for melanocyte differentiation. Together, our results show that cranial NC cell lineages arise progressively and uncover a series of spatially restricted cell interactions likely to regulate such cell-fate decisions.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View