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Publications (10 of 15) Show all publications
Choo, B., Zhu, M., Qu, Q., Yu, X., Jia, L. & Zhao, W. (2017). A new osteichthyan from the late Silurian of Yunnan, China. PLoS ONE, 12(3), Article ID e0170929.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A new osteichthyan from the late Silurian of Yunnan, China
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2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 3, article id e0170929Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Our understanding of early gnathostome evolution has been hampered by a generally scant fossil record beyond the Devonian. Recent discoveries from the late Silurian Xiaoxiang Fauna of Yunnan, China, have yielded significant new information, including the earliest articulated osteichthyan fossils from the Ludlow-aged Kuanti Formation. Here we describe the partial postcranium of a new primitive bony fish from the Kuanti Formation that represents the second known taxon of pre-Devonian osteichthyan revealing articulated remains. The new form, Sparalepis tingi gen. et sp. nov., displays similarities with Guiyu and Psarolepis, including a spine-bearing pectoral girdle and a placoderm-like dermal pelvic girdle, a structure only recently identified in early osteichthyans. The squamation with particularly thick rhombic scales shares an overall morphological similarity to that of Psarolepis. However, the anterior flank scales of Sparalepis possess an unusual interlocking system of ventral bulges embraced by dorsal concavities on the outer surfaces. A phylogenetic analysis resolves Sparalepis within a previously recovered cluster of stem-sarcopterygians including Guiyu, Psarolepis and Achoania. The high diversity of osteichthyans from the Ludlow of Yunnan strongly contrasts with other Silurian vertebrate assemblages, suggesting that the South China block may have been an early center of diversification for early gnathostomes, well before the advent of the Devonian "Age of Fishes".

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2017
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-319536 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0170929 (DOI)000396073700092 ()28273081 (PubMedID)
Funder
Australian Research Council, DE160100247
Available from: 2017-04-06 Created: 2017-04-06 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Qu, Q., Sanchez, S., Zhu, M., Blom, H. & Ahlberg, P. E. (2017). The origin of novel features by changes in developmental mechanisms: ontogeny and three-dimensional microanatomy of polyodontode scales of two early osteichthyans. Biological Reviews, 92(2), 1189-1212
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The origin of novel features by changes in developmental mechanisms: ontogeny and three-dimensional microanatomy of polyodontode scales of two early osteichthyans
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2017 (English)In: Biological Reviews, ISSN 1464-7931, E-ISSN 1469-185X, Vol. 92, no 2, p. 1189-1212Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent advances in synchrotron imaging allow us to study the three-dimensional (3D) histology of vertebrate fossils, including microfossils (e.g. teeth and scales) of early jawed vertebrates. These microfossils can often be scanned at submicron resolution (<1 µm) because of their small size. The resulting voxel (3D pixel) stacks can be processed into virtual thin sections revealing almost every internal detail of the samples, comparable to traditional thin sections. In addition, 3D models of the internal microanatomical structures, such as embedded odontodes and vasculature, can be assembled and examined in situ. Scales of two early osteichthyans, Psarolepis romeri from the Early Devonian of China and Andreolepis hedei from the Late Silurian of Sweden, were scanned using propagation phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography (PPC-SRµCT), and 3D models of internal canal systems and buried odontodes were created from the scans. Based on these new data, we review the evolutionary origin of cosmine and its associated pore-canal system, which has been long recognized as a synapomorphy of sarcopterygians. The first odontode that appeared during growth shows almost identical morphology in the two scales, but the second odontode of the Psarolepis scale shows a distinctive morphology with several pores on the surface. It is suggested that a shift from ridge-like odontode to pore-bearing odontode was the key step in the origin of cosmine, which was then elaborated further in more-derived sarcopterygians. We perform a detailed comparison between the two scales and propose a primary homology framework to generate microanatomical characters, which can be used in the phylogenetic analysis of early osteichthyans when more 3D data become available. Our results highlight the importance of 3D data for the study of histology and ontogeny of the dermal skeleton of early jawed vertebrates, especially scales of the polyodontode type. The traditional microvertebrate collection is not only useful for biostratigraphic studies, but also preserves invaluable biological information about the growth of vertebrate hard tissues. Today, we are only beginning to understand the biological meaning of the new 3D data. The increasing availability of such data will enable, and indeed require, a complete revision of traditional palaeohistological studies on early vertebrates.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298047 (URN)10.1111/brv.12277 (DOI)000398567200032 ()27194072 (PubMedID)
Funder
EU, European Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation
Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2017-05-04Bibliographically approved
Jerve, A., Qu, Q., Sanchez, S., Ahlberg, P. E. & Haitina, T. (2017). Vascularization and odontode structure of a dorsal ridge spine of Romundina stellina Ørvig 1975. PLoS ONE, 12(12), Article ID e0189833.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vascularization and odontode structure of a dorsal ridge spine of Romundina stellina Ørvig 1975
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2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 12, article id e0189833Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are two types of dermal skeletons in jawed vertebrates: placoderms and osteichthyans carry large bony plates (macromery), whereas chondrichthyans and acanthodians are covered by small scales (micromery). Fin spines are one of the last large dermal structures found on micromeric taxa and offer a potential source of histology and morphology that can be compared to those found on macromeric groups. Dermal fin spines offer a variety of morphology but aspects of their growth modes and homology are unclear. Here, we provide detailed descriptions of the microstructure and growth of a dorsal ridge spine from the acanthothoracid placoderm, Romundina stellina, using virtual three-dimensional paleohistological datasets. From these data we identify several layers of dentine ornamentation covering the lateral surfaces of the spine and reconstructed their growth pattern. We show that this spine likely grew posteriorly and proximally from a narrow portion of bone located along the leading edge of the spine. The spine is similarly constructed to the scales with a few exceptions, including the absence of polarized fibers distributed throughout the bone and the presence of a thin layer of perichondral bone. The composition of the spine (semidentine odontodes, dermal bone, perichondral bone) is identical to that of the Romundina dermal plates. These results illustrate the similarities and differences between the dermal tissues in Romundina and indicate that the spine grew differently from the dentinous fin spines from extant and fossil chondrichthyans. The morphology and histology of Romundina is most similar to the fin spine of the probable stem osteichthyan Lophosteus, with a well-developed inner cellular bony base and star-shaped odontodes on the surface. Results from these studies will undoubtedly have impact on our understanding of fossil fin spine histology and evolution, contributing to the on-going revision of early gnathostome phylogeny.

National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-338569 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0189833 (DOI)000419006200048 ()29281687 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2012-4673
Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-02-19Bibliographically approved
Jerve, A., Qu, Q., Sanchez, S., Blom, H. & Ahlberg, P. E. (2016). Three-dimensional paleohistology of the scale and median fin spine of Lophosteus superbus (Pander 1856). PeerJ, 4, Article ID e2521.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Three-dimensional paleohistology of the scale and median fin spine of Lophosteus superbus (Pander 1856)
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2016 (English)In: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 4, article id e2521Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lophosteus superbus is one of only a handful of probable stem-group osteichthyans known from the fossil record. First collected and described in the late 19th century from the upper Silurian Saaremaa Cliff locality in Estonia, it is known from a wealth of disarticulated scales, fin spines, and bone fragments. In this study we provide the first description of the morphology and paleohistology of a fin spine and scale from Lophosteus using virtual thin sections and 3D reconstructions that were segmented using phase-contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography. These data reveal that both structures have fully or partially buried odontodes, which retain fine morphological details in older generations, including sharp nodes and serrated ridgelets. The vascular architecture of the fin spine tip, which is composed of several layers of longitudinally directed bone vascular canals, is much more complex compared to the bulbous horizontal canals within the scale, but they both have distinctive networks of ascending canals within each individual odontode. Other histological characteristics that can be observed from the data are cell spaces and Sharpey's fibers that, when combined with the vascularization, could help to provide insights into the growth of the structure. The 3D data of the scales from Lophosteus superbus is similar to comparable data from other fossil osteichthyans, and the morphology of the reconstructed buried odontodes from this species is identical to scale material of Lophosteus ohesaarensis, casting doubt on the validity of that species. The 3D data presented in this paper is the first for fossil fin spines and so comparable data is not yet available. However, the overall morphology and histology seems to be similar to the structure of placoderm dermal plates. The 3D datasets presented here provide show that microtomography is a powerful tool for investigating the three-dimensional microstructure of fossils, which is difficult to study using traditional histological methods. These results also increase the utility of fin spines and scales suggest that these data are a potentially rich source of morphological data that could be used for studying questions relating to early vertebrate growth and evolution.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282529 (URN)10.7717/peerj.2521 (DOI)000387169900002 ()27833794 (PubMedID)
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilKnut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationEU, European Research Council, 233111
Available from: 2016-04-21 Created: 2016-04-05 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Haitina, T., Qu, Q. & Ahlberg, P. (2015). Identification of enamel matrix protein genes in the genome of spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus . In: : . Paper presented at Interdisciplinary Approaches in Fish Skeletal Biology (IAFSB), 4th Meeting, Apr 27-30, 2015, Tavira, Portugal (pp. 40).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identification of enamel matrix protein genes in the genome of spotted gar Lepisosteus oculatus
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-338578 (URN)
Conference
Interdisciplinary Approaches in Fish Skeletal Biology (IAFSB), 4th Meeting, Apr 27-30, 2015, Tavira, Portugal
Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-03-02Bibliographically approved
Qu, Q. (2015). Three-dimensional Virtual Histology of Early Vertebrate Scales Revealed by Synchrotron X-ray Phase-contrast Microtomography. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Three-dimensional Virtual Histology of Early Vertebrate Scales Revealed by Synchrotron X-ray Phase-contrast Microtomography
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vertebrate hard tissues first appeared in the dermal skeletons of early jawless vertebrates (ostracoderms) and were further modified in the earliest jawed vertebrates. Fortunately, histological information is usually preserved in these early vertebrate fossils and has thus been studied for more than a century, done so by examining thin sections, which provide general information about the specific features of vertebrate hard tissues in their earliest forms. Recent progress in synchrotron X-ray microtomography technology has caused a revolution in imaging methods used to study the dermal skeletons of early vertebrates. Virtual thin sections obtained in this manner can be used to reconstruct the internal structures of dermal skeletons in three-dimensions (3D), such as vasculature, buried odontodes (tooth-like unites) and osteocytes. Several body scales of early vertebrates have been examined using this imaging method and in situ 3D models of internal structures are created. Andreolepis (an early osteichthyan) scale shows linear growth pattern of odontodes in early developmental stage, which is not observable in traditional thin sections. The scale of another early osteichthyan Psarolepis was studied in the same way. Comparison between Andreolepis and Psarolepis shows that cosmine, a tissue complex in dermal skeleton of early sarcopterygians, originated by a developmental change of odontode shape. Two scales of osteostracans, a group of extinct jawless vertebrates, were studied in 3D and more details have been revealed in comparison to previous results based solely on 2D thin sections. 3D data enables us to compare the vasculature and canal system in different taxa in great detail, which forms the basis of formulating primary homology hypothesis and phylogenetic characters.

The new data resulting from this study suggests that vertebrate fossils have preserved much more histological information than we currently appreciate, and provide a new data source of microanatomical structures inside the fossils that can contribute new characters for phylogenetic analysis of early jawed vertebrates.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. p. 49
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1213
Keywords
3D virtual paleohistology, scales, ontogeny, jawed vertebrates, phylogeny
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Biology; Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-238056 (URN)978-91-554-9128-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-02, Lindahlsalen, Norbyvägen 18A, Uppsala, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 233111
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2014-12-09 Last updated: 2015-02-03Bibliographically approved
Qu, Q. (2013). 3D Histological Architecture And Ontogeny In Two Early Osteichthyan Scales: the Origin Of Cosmine And A Reconsideration Of The Phylogenetic Application Of Paleohistology Data. In: : . Paper presented at The Second International Symposium on Paleohistology (ISPH.2013), Bozeman,July 18 - 20, 2013.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>3D Histological Architecture And Ontogeny In Two Early Osteichthyan Scales: the Origin Of Cosmine And A Reconsideration Of The Phylogenetic Application Of Paleohistology Data
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The histology of early osteichthyan scales have been extensively studied using thin sections and acid-etched ground surfaces, and it is known that these rhombic scales are composed of multiple odontodes (tooth-like denticles) in the crown and bony tissues in the base. However, the 2D nature of the ground sections does not allow us to know the 3D morphology and distribution of the odontodes, which contain the ontogenetic history of the scales. To compensate the traditional study based on ground sections, we used Propagation phase contrast X-ray Synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRµCT) to examine body scales of two early osteichthyans Andreolepis and Psarolepis, both of which are important taxa to understand the origin of osteichthyan crown group.

 

The reconstructed 3D models of the histological architecture provide novel data of the ontogenetic history of the scales. The crown of Andreolepis scale is constructed two distinct type of growth patterns: a linear polarized pattern in the initial stage and a gap-filling pattern in the later stage. In the crown of Psarolepis scale the second odontode is most peculiar, with a the enamel covering penetrated by several pores, while the primordia odontode is almost morphologically identical with that of Andreolepis scale. A developmental shift following the formation of the primordia odontode may be the key step of the evolution of cosmoid scales, and Psarolepis scale is explained as a transitional form between the Andreolepis-type scale and the typical cosmoid scales in more derived sarcopterygians such as Osteolepis. Comparison of the entire canal system among Andreolepis, Psarolepis and more derived sarcopterygians show that the pore-canal system and cosmine-like construction are already present in Psarolepis scales, although the construction is different from typical cosmine as in Osteolepis. A stepwise scenario of the origin of pore-canal system and cosmine is proposed according to the new data.

 

New characters are composed based on the in situ 3D data and could be incorporated into phylogenetic analysis in the future when more taxa have been studied using similar imaging method and 3D histology obtained. The 3D histology study of skeletal fossils using PPC-SRµCT could provide more informative and reliable phylogenetic data.

Keywords
3D histology, cosmine, characters, cladistics
National Category
Evolutionary Biology
Research subject
Earth Science with specialization in Historical Geology and Palaeontology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-213350 (URN)
Conference
The Second International Symposium on Paleohistology (ISPH.2013), Bozeman,July 18 - 20, 2013
Projects
ERC Advanced Investigator Grant 233111
Funder
EU, European Research Council, 233111
Available from: 2013-12-20 Created: 2013-12-20 Last updated: 2015-07-03Bibliographically approved
Zhu, M., Yu, X., Ahlberg, P. E., Choo, B., Lu, J., Qiao, T., . . . Zhu, Y. (2013). A Silurian placoderm with osteichthyan-like marginal jaw bones. Nature, 502(7470), 188-+
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Silurian placoderm with osteichthyan-like marginal jaw bones
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2013 (English)In: Nature, ISSN 0028-0836, E-ISSN 1476-4687, Vol. 502, no 7470, p. 188-+Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) crown group comprises two extant clades with contrasting character complements. Notably, Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fish) lack the large dermal bones that characterize Osteichthyes (bony fish and tetrapods). The polarities of these differences, and the morphology of the last common ancestor of crown gnathostomes, are the subject of continuing debate. Here we describe a three-dimensionally preserved 419-million-year-old placoderm fish from the Silurian of China that represents the first stem gnathostome with dermal marginal jaw bones (premaxilla, maxilla and dentary), features previously restricted to Osteichthyes. A phylogenetic analysis places the new form near the top of the gnathostome stem group but does not fully resolve its relationships to other placoderms. The analysis also assigns all acanthodians to the chondrichthyan stem group. These results suggest that the last common ancestor of Chondrichthyes and Osteichthyes had a macromeric dermal skeleton, and provide a new framework for studying crown gnathostome divergence.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210572 (URN)10.1038/nature12617 (DOI)000325436100041 ()
Available from: 2013-11-13 Created: 2013-11-11 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Qu, Q., Zhu, M. & Wang, W. (2013). Scales and Dermal Skeletal Histology of an Early Bony Fish Psarolepis romeri and Their Bearing on the Evolution of Rhombic Scales and Hard Tissues. PLoS ONE, 8(4), e61485
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scales and Dermal Skeletal Histology of an Early Bony Fish Psarolepis romeri and Their Bearing on the Evolution of Rhombic Scales and Hard Tissues
2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 4, p. e61485-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent discoveries of early bony fishes from the Silurian and earliest Devonian of South China (e. g. Psarolepis, Achoania, Meemannia, Styloichthys and Guiyu) have been crucial in understanding the origin and early diversification of the osteichthyans (bony fishes and tetrapods). All these early fishes, except Guiyu, have their dermal skeletal surface punctured by relatively large pore openings. However, among these early fishes little is known about scale morphology and dermal skeletal histology. Here we report new data about the scales and dermal skeletal histology of Psarolepis romeri, a taxon with important implications for studying the phylogeny of early gnathostomes and early osteichthyans. Seven subtypes of rhombic scales with similar histological composition and surface sculpture are referred to Psarolepis romeri. They are generally thick and show a faint antero-dorsal process and a broad peg-and-socket structure. In contrast to previously reported rhombic scales of osteichthyans, these scales bear a neck between crown and base as in acanthodian scales. Histologically, the crown is composed of several generations of odontodes and an irregular canal system connecting cylindrical pore cavities. Younger odontodes are deposited on older ones both superpositionally and areally. The bony tissues forming the keel of the scale are shown to be lamellar bone with plywood-like structure, whereas the other parts of the base are composed of pseudo-lamellar bone with parallel collagen fibers. The unique tissue combination in the keel (i.e., extrinsic Sharpey's fibers orthogonal to the intrinsic orthogonal sets of collagen fibers) has rarely been reported in the keel of other rhombic scales. The new data provide insights into the early evolution of rhombic (ganoid and cosmoid) scales in osteichthyans, and add to our knowledge of hard tissues of early vertebrates.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-200692 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0061485 (DOI)000317909600117 ()
Available from: 2013-06-03 Created: 2013-06-03 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Qu, Q., Sanchez, S., Blom, H., Tafforeau, P. & Ahlberg, P. E. (2013). Scales and Tooth Whorls of Ancient Fishes Challenge Distinction between External and Oral 'Teeth'. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e71890
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Scales and Tooth Whorls of Ancient Fishes Challenge Distinction between External and Oral 'Teeth'
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2013 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 8, no 8, p. e71890-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The debate about the origin of the vertebrate dentition has been given fresh fuel by new fossil discoveries and developmental studies of extant animals. Odontodes (teeth or tooth-like structures) can be found in two distinct regions, the 'internal' oropharyngeal cavity and the 'external' skin. A recent hypothesis argues that regularly patterned odontodes is a specific oropharyngeal feature, whereas odontodes in the external skeleton lack this organization. However, this argument relies on the skeletal system of modern chondrichthyans (sharks and their relatives), which differ from other gnathostome (jawed vertebrate) groups in not having dermal bones associated with the odontodes. Their external skeleton is also composed of monoodontode 'placoid scales', whereas the scales of most early fossil gnathostomes are polyodontode, i.e. constructed from several odontodes on a shared bony base. Propagation phase contrast X-ray Synchrotron microtomography (PPC-SRmCT) is used to study the polyodontode scales of the early bony fish Andreolepis hedei. The odontodes constructing a single scale are reconstructed in 3D, and a linear and regular growth mechanism similar to that in a gnathostome dentition is confirmed, together with a second, gap-filling growth mechanism. Acanthodian tooth whorls are described, which show that ossification of the whorl base preceded and probably patterned the development of the dental lamina, in contrast to the condition in sharks where the dental lamina develops early and patterns the dentition. The new findings reveal, for the first time, how polyodontode scales grow in 3D in an extinct bony fish. They show that dentition-like odontode patterning occurs on scales and that the primary patterning unit of a tooth whorl may be the bony base rather than the odontodes it carries. These results contradict the hypothesis that oropharyngeal and external odontode skeletons are fundamentally separate and suggest that the importance of dermal bone interactions to odontode patterning has been underestimated.

National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207634 (URN)10.1371/journal.pone.0071890 (DOI)000323097300168 ()
Available from: 2013-09-17 Created: 2013-09-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-8291-8493

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