1st Edition

Odontodes The Developmental and Evolutionary Building Blocks of Dentitions

Edited By Donglei Chen Copyright 2024
    376 Pages 45 Color & 27 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    376 Pages 45 Color & 27 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The odontode system, which encompasses teeth and other dentine-based structures, is ancient. Odontodes are present in the oldest vertebrate fossils, dating back 500 million years, and still play an important role in the anatomy and function of living jawed vertebrates. Fossils preserve odontode tissues with remarkable nanoscale fidelity, allowing the evolution and diversification of the odontode system to be studied in deep time as well as across the diversity of living vertebrates. This synthetic volume presents an overview of odontode research by internationally leading researchers from different fields of biology..

    Key Features

    • Summarizes classic and cutting-edge research devoted to the development and evolution
    • Focuses on the cellular aspects of odontogenesis
    • Documents the structural and functional diversity of odontode tissues
    • Describes the patterning mechanisms of dentitions in various vertebrate groups
    • Provides a thorough index for students


    1. On dental cell types and cell populations, also in light of evolution

    Jan Krivanek, Kaj Fried and Igor Adameyko

    2. The conquest of the oropharynx by odontogenic epithelia

    Ann Huysseune, Robert Cerny and P. Eckhard Witten

    3. The neural crest and development of odontoskeletogenic potential along the body axis

    Jan Stundl and Marianne E. Bronner

    4. Evolutionary genomics of odontode tissues

    Tatjana Haitina and Mélanie Debiais-Thibaud

    5. Odontoblast repertoire delivers significantly different dental tissues from pluripotent neural crest derived cells

    Moya Smith, Aaron LeBlanc, Charlie Underwood, Zerina Johanson

    6. Shifting perspectives in the study of amniote tooth attachment and the path forward to establishing vertebrate periodontal tissue homology

    Aaron LeBlanc

    7. Initiation and periodic patterning of vertebrate dentitions

    Alexa Sadier and Vladimír Soukup

    8. The selected deviation: the acquisition of in situ tooth replacement by creating a gap to fill

    Donglei Chen

    9. Complexity, networking and many model thinking enhance understanding of the patterning, variation and interactions of human teeth and dental arches

    Alan Henry Brook and Matthew Brook O’Donnell


    Born in Guangzhou, China, Dr Donglei Chen has studied and worked at Uppsala University in Sweden for 15 years. She studied for her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Per Ahlberg, focusing on the dentitions of the Silurian (approximately 420 to 425 million years old) osteichthyans Andreolepis and Lophosteus. This research was based on microtomographic data sets with sub-micrometer resolution produced at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, and was the first use of such data to fully reconstruct the three-dimensional architecture of early vertebrate dentitions. She received the Photon Science Award 2018, awarded by the Centre for Photon Science at Uppsala University, for the most innovative use of photon science in a PhD thesis.

    Her research has provided profound mechanistic insights allowing her to address evolutionary and developmental questions, such as the origin of teeth in jawed vertebrates, the origin of in situ tooth replacement in bony fish, and the relationship between teeth and dermal odontodes. Based on synchrotron microtomography, she is using three-dimensional virtual histology to reconstruct the ontogenetic histories of early vertebrate dermoskeletons. This three-dimensional ‘reverse engineering’ of ontogeny allows cell behaviors, such as the spatial regulation of odontoclast and osteoclast activity within the resorption zones, to be inferred in fossils and compared with those of living animals. It opens the door to integrating different strands of cutting-edge research, from developmental genomics to paleohistology, in order to explore current topics about the evolution, development and patterning of teeth.