In zebrafish, cells at the lateral edge of the neural plate become Rohon-Beard primary sensory neurons or neural crest. Delta/Notch signaling is required for neural crest formation. ngn1 is expressed in primary neurons; inhibiting Ngn1 activity prevents Rohon-Beard cell formation but not formation of other primary neurons. Reducing Ngn1 activity in embryos lacking Delta/Notch signaling restores neural crest formation, indicating Delta/Notch signaling inhibits neurogenesis without actively promoting neural crest. Ngn1 activity is also required for later development of dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons; however, Rohon-Beard neurons and dorsal root ganglion neurons are not necessarily derived from the same precursor cell. We propose that temporally distinct episodes of Ngn1 activity in the same precursor population specify these two different types of sensory neurons.
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