Reconstruction of a starfish embryo provides unique morphogenesis during the developmental process that is not observed in normal development. Here, we established a novel method for reconstruction from single embryos/larvae. By using this method, we investigated the morphogenetic capabilities in critical steps during the reconstruction process as showed by the reconstructed embryos generated from embryos/larvae at the six developmental stages, or from segregated ectodermal and/or endomesodermal cells. Additionally, the novel method addressed several problems found in prior methods related to reproducibly generating reconstructed embryos. In the reconstructions from the various stage embryos/larvae, the morphogenetic capabilities were substantively reduced in the reconstructed embryos generated from 3-day bipinnaria (3dBp). The combination experiments using ectodermal or endomesodermal cells segregated from 2dBp or 3dBp showed a reduction of the morphogenetic capabilities in both cells types in 3dBp. The reconstructed embryos generated from ectodermal or endomesodermal cells segregated from 2dBp possessed partial morphological features, such as formation of the epithelium or blastopore, but all failed to develop into bipinnariae. These results indicate two limitations of the morphogenetic capabilities during the reconstruction process. Firstly, the morphogenetic capabilities to reconstruct an embryo are considerably reduced between 2dBp and 3dBp. Secondly, cells specified as ectoderm or endomesoderm possess limited morphogenetic capabilities to reconstruct bipinnaria. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that the interaction between these specified cell types is required for reconstruction.
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