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  1. Joint Public Review:

    The manuscript by Liu and colleagues is a very elegant study demonstrating the emergence of ectopic beta cells after beta cell specific ablation in zebrafish pancreas in a context in which vascularization of the larvae was altered in either npas4l mutants or etv2 morphants. Provocatively, the authors demonstrate the mesodermal origin of ectopic and functional beta cells using 2 mesodermal mapping strategies. This study is very well conducted with appropriate controls and rigorous statistical analyses. This study will likely impact the field of pancreas regeneration providing a novel source for beta cells within the adjacent mesodermal tissue.

  2. Evaluation Summary:

    This is an elegant study demonstrating the emergence of mesoderm-derived beta-like cells following beta-cell ablation in an endothelial cell deficient context. These findings will be of interest to scientists in the areas of regeneration and reprogramming, as they reveal a previously unknown degree of germ layer plasticity in the embryo. In the long term the study has potential impact in the diabetes field, as it reveals a novel path for redirecting somatic cells into insulin-producing cells in an in vivo context.

    (This preprint has been reviewed by eLife. We include the public reviews from the reviewers here; the authors also receive private feedback with suggested changes to the manuscript. Reviewer #1 and Reviewer #3 agreed to share their names with the authors.)