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Dental ontogeny in the most primitive bony fish Lophosteus reveals the developmental relationship between teeth and dermal odontodes

By Donglei Chen, Henning Blom, Sophie Sanchez, Paul Tafforeau, Tiiu Märss, Per E. Ahlberg

Posted 14 Jul 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.14.202234

Ontogenetic data obtained by synchrotron microtomography of a marginal jawbone of Lophosteus superbus (Late Silurian, 422 Million years old), the phylogenetically basalmost stem osteichthyan, reveal developmental relationships between teeth and ornament that are not obvious from the adult morphology. The earliest odontodes are two longitudinal founder ridges formed at the ossification center. Subsequent odontodes that are added lingually to the ridges turn into conical teeth and undergo cyclic replacement, while those added labially achieve a stellate appearance. The stellate odontodes deposited directly on the bony plate are aligned with the alternate files of the teeth. Successive odontodes overgrowing the labial tooth rows become tooth-like and the replacement teeth near to them are ornament-like. We propose that teeth and ornament are modifications of a single odontode system regulated and differentiated by the oral and dermal signals; signal cross-communication between the two domains can occur around the oral-dermal boundary. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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