Jacob M. Musser
Yale University
FeatherTranscriptomeCell typeGeneticsBiology
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Publications 18
The throughput of electron microscopes has increased significantly in recent years, enabling detailed analysis of cell morphology and ultrastructure in fairly large tissue volumes. Analysis of neural circuits at single-synapse resolution remains the flagship target of this technique, but applications to cell and developmental biology are also starting to emerge at scale. On the light microscopy side, continuous development of light-sheet microscopes has led to a rapid increase in imaged volume d...
5 CitationsSource
#1Jacob M. MusserH-Index: 7
#2Klaske J. Schippers (EMBL-EBI: European Bioinformatics Institute)H-Index: 1
Last. Detlev Arendt (Heidelberg University)H-Index: 47
view all 27 authors...
The evolutionary origin of metazoan cell types such as neurons, muscles, digestive, and immune cells, remains unsolved. Using whole-body single-cell RNA sequencing in a sponge, an animal without nervous system and musculature, we identify 18 distinct cell types comprising four major families. This includes nitric-oxide sensitive contractile cells, digestive cells active in macropinocytosis, and a family of amoeboid-neuroid cells involved in innate immunity. We uncover presynaptic genes in an amo...
3 CitationsSource
#1Detlev ArendtH-Index: 47
#2Paola BertucciH-Index: 6
Last. Jacob M. MusserH-Index: 7
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Major questions in the evolution of neurons and nervous systems remain unsolved, such as the origin of the first neuron, the possible convergent evolution of neuronal phenotypes, and the transition from a relatively simple decentralized nerve net to the complex, centralized nervous systems found in modern bilaterian animals. In recent years, comparative single-cell transcriptomics has opened up new research avenues addressing these issues. Here, we review recent conceptual progress toward an evo...
9 CitationsSource
#1Jacob M. Musser (Yale University)H-Index: 7
#2Günter P. Wagner (Yale University)H-Index: 66
Last. Richard O. Prum (Yale University)H-Index: 47
view all 7 authors...
Birds and other reptiles possess a diversity of feather and scale-like skin appendages. Feathers are commonly assumed to have originated from ancestral scales in theropod dinosaurs. However, most birds also have scaled feet, indicating birds evolved the capacity to grow both ancestral and derived morphologies. This suggests a more complex evolutionary history than a simple linear transition between feathers and scales. We set out to investigate the evolution of feathers via the comparison of tra...
3 CitationsSource
#1Kaia AchimH-Index: 11
#2Nils Eling (University of Cambridge)H-Index: 6
Last. Detlev Arendt (Heidelberg University)H-Index: 47
view all 11 authors...
Animal bodies comprise diverse arrays of cells. To characterize cellular identities across an entire body, we have compared the transcriptomes of single cells randomly picked from dissociated whole larvae of the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii. We identify five transcriptionally distinct groups of differentiated cells, each expressing a unique set of transcription factors and effector genes that implement cellular phenotypes. Spatial mapping of cells into a cellular expression atlas, and wh...
14 CitationsSource
#1Cong Liang (Yale University)H-Index: 3
#2Jacob M. Musser (Yale University)H-Index: 7
Last. Günter P. WagnerH-Index: 66
view all 5 authors...
12 CitationsSource
Abstract Ciliary photoreceptors are a diverse cell type family that comprises the rods and cones of the retina and other related cell types such as pineal photoreceptors. Ciliary photoreceptor evolution has been dynamic during vertebrate evolution with numerous gains and losses of opsin and phototransduction genes, and changes in their expression. For example, early mammals lost all but two cone opsins, indicating loss of cone receptor types in response to nocturnal lifestyle. Our review focuses...
4 CitationsSource
#1Gerhard SchlosserH-Index: 27
#2Jacob M. MusserH-Index: 7
Last. Detlev ArendtH-Index: 47
view all 3 authors...
#1Detlev Arendt (Heidelberg University)H-Index: 47
#2Jacob M. MusserH-Index: 7
Last. Günter P. Wagner (Yale University)H-Index: 66
view all 11 authors...
In this article, the authors review the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying cell type identity and discuss how new phenotypic features of cell types evolve. They explain how evolutionary lineage differs from developmental lineage and highlight how an evolutionary view of cell type identity can facilitate research in comparative cell biology.
144 CitationsSource
#1Cong Liang (Yale University)H-Index: 3
#2Jacob M. Musser (Yale University)H-Index: 7
Last. Günter P. Wagner (Yale University)H-Index: 66
view all 5 authors...
Transcriptomic data yields valuable insights into cell type, tissue, and organ evolution. However, interpreting this data requires understanding how transcriptomes evolve. A particularly difficult problem is that cell type transcriptomes may not evolve independently. Here we present a statistical model to estimate the level of concerted transcriptome evolution and apply it to published and new data. The results indicate that tissues undergo pervasive concerted evolution in gene expression. Tissu...
1 CitationsSource