The amphioxus FoxQ1 gene is expressed in the developing endostyle.
Mazet F., Luke GN., Shimeld SM.
The FoxQ1 genes form a distinct group within the Fox (also known as forkhead) gene family. We have isolated a gene from the amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae that encodes a forkhead domain with high identity to FoxQ1 genes in other chordates. Molecular phylogenetic analysis places AmphiFoxQ1 in a robust grouping with vertebrate FoxQ1 genes and with Ciona intestinalis Ci-FoxQ1. This group is separate from that containing AmphiFoxQ2, which instead groups with other invertebrate Fox genes. The expression of AmphiFoxQ1 was analysed by whole mount in situ hybridisation. The results show that AmphiFoxQ1 expression is confined to the developing endoderm, and specifically marks the endostyle and associated peripharyngeal bands of amphioxus larvae. Ci-FoxQ1 is also expressed in the endostyle, highlighting this as a conserved site of FoxQ1 gene expression in basal chordates.