Developmental Plasticity of Patterned and Regenerating Oral Organs

J. Todd Streelman, Ryan F. Bloomquist, Teresa E. Fowler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


In many aquatic vertebrates, including bony and cartilaginous fishes, teeth and taste buds colocalize on jaw elements. In these animals, taste buds are renewed continuously throughout life, whereas teeth undergo cycled whole-organ replacement by various means. Recently, studies of cichlid fishes have yielded new insights into the development and regeneration of these dental and sensory oral organs. Tooth and taste bud densities covary positively across species with different feeding strategies, controlled by common regions of the genome and integrated molecular signals. Developing teeth and taste buds share a bipotent epithelium during early patterning stages, from which dental and taste fields are specified. Moreover, these organs share a common epithelial ribbon that supports label-retaining cells during later stages of regeneration. During both patterning and regeneration stages, dental organs can be converted to taste bud fate by manipulation of BMP signaling. These observations highlight a surprising long-term plasticity between dental and sensory organ types. Here, we review these findings and discuss the implications of developmental plasticity that spans the continuum of craniofacial organ patterning and regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCraniofacial Development, 2015
EditorsYang Chai
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780124081413
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153


  • Development and regeneration
  • Patterning
  • Stem cell
  • Taste bud
  • Tooth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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