Most of the cranial sense organs of vertebrates arise from embryonic structures known as cranial placodes. Such placodes also give rise to sensory neurons that transmit information to the brain as well as to many neurosecretory cells. Vertebrate Cranial Placodes focuses on the development of sensory and neurosecretory cell types from cranial placodes by introducing the vertebrate head with its sense organs and neurosecretory organs and providing an overview of the various cranial placodes and their derivatives, including evidence of common embryonic primordia. Schlosser discusses how these primordia are established in the early embryo and how individual placodes develop. The latter chapters explain how various placodally derived sensory and neurosecretory cell types differentiate into discrete structures.
1. The Vertebrates’ New Head
2. The Cranial Placodes of Vertebrates – An Overview
3. Origin of Cranial Placodes from a Common Primordium
4. Development of Individual Placodes from their Common Primordium
5. General Mechanisms of Sensory and Neuronal Differentiation
6. Differentiation of Sensory and Neuronal Cell Types from Neurogenic Placodes
7. Differentiation of Photoreceptors
8. Differentiation of Cell Types from Non-Neurogenic Placodes
1. The Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrates
2. Teaching Old Cells New Tricks
3. Evolution of Mechano- and Chemosensory Cell Types
4. Evolution of Photosensory Cell Types
5. Evolution of Neurosecretory Cell Types
6. Evolutionary Origin of Vertebrate Cranial Placodes
Gerhard Schlosser is Lecturer Above The Bar in the Department of Zoology at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He has received two PhD's – the first in Philosophy from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiberg and the second in Biology from the University of Bremen. After two postdocs – one at the University of Bremen and another at the University of California in San Diego – he joined the faculty at the National University of Ireland. He is the author or co-author of dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles.