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International Journal of Developmental Biology

John Abramyan, Joy M Richman
The aim of this review is to highlight some of the key contributions to our understanding of craniofacial research from work carried out with the chicken and other avian embryos. From the very first observations of neural crest cell migration to the fusion of the primary palate, the chicken has proven indispensable in facilitating craniofacial research. In this review we will look back to the premolecular studies where "cut and paste" grafting experiments mapped the fate of cranial neural crest cells, the role of different tissue layers in patterning the face, and more recently the contribution of neural crest cells to jaw size and identity...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Megan G Davey, Matthew Towers, Neil Vargesson, Cheryll Tickle
The chick embryo has a long history in investigations of vertebrate limb development because of the ease with which its limbs can be experimentally manipulated. Early studies elucidated the fundamental embryology of the limb and identified the key signalling regions that govern its development. The chick limb became a leading model for exploring the concept of positional information and understanding how patterns of differentiated cells and tissues develop in vertebrate embryos. When developmentally important molecules began to be identified, experiments in chick limbs were crucial for bridging embryology and molecular biology...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Yoshiko Takahashi, Ryo Kudo, Ryosuke Tadokoro, Yuji Atsuta
During embryogenesis, different tissues develop coordinately, and this coordination is often in harmony with body growth. Recent studies allow us to understand how this harmonious regulation is achieved at the levels of inter-cellular, inter-tissue, and tissue-body relationships. Here, we present an overview of recently revealed mechanisms by which axial growth (tail growth) drives a variety of morphogenetic events, with a focus on the coordinated progression between Wolffian (nephric) duct elongation and somitogenesis...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Anne H Monsoro-Burq, Michael Levin
While the external vertebrate body plan appears bilaterally symmetrical with respect to anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes, the internal organs are arranged with a striking and invariant left-right asymmetry. This laterality is important for normal body function, as alterations manifest as numerous human birth defect syndromes. The left-right axis is set up very early during embryogenesis by an initial and still poorly understood break in bilateral symmetry, followed by a cascade of molecular events that was discovered 20 years ago in the chick embryo model...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Olivier Pourquié
Somites are epithelial blocks of paraxial mesoderm that define the vertebrate embryonic segments. They are responsible for imposing the metameric pattern observed in many tissues of the adult such as the vertebrae, and they give rise to most of the axial skeleton and skeletal muscles of the trunk. Due to its easy accessibility in the egg, the chicken embryo has provided an ideal model to study somite development. Somites were first described in the chicken embryo by Malpighi in the 17th century, soon after the invention of the microscope...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Alice Roycroft, Roberto Mayor
Michael Abercrombie is regarded as one of the principal pioneers of cell biology. Although Abercrombie began his career as an experimental embryologist, working on the avian organizer with C. H. Waddington, questions on how cells in culture migrate and interact dominated his career. Whilst studying the social behaviour of chick heart embryonic fibroblasts, Abercrombie identified a phenomenon whereby colliding cells collapse their protrusions towards the cell-cell contact upon a collision, preventing their continued migration...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Gary C Schoenwolf
The chick embryo has served as a workhorse for experimental embryological studies designed to elucidate mechanisms underlying neurulation, the process that forms the neural tube, the rudiment of the entire adult central nervous system. Early chick embryos developing in whole-embryo culture can be readily manipulated in cut-and-paste-type experiments, and this attribute makes this model system unparalleled for studying the morphogenesis of embryos and their organ rudiments. How the chick embryo and experimental embryology have contributed to our understanding of critical events of neurulation are summarized...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Claudio D Stern
Absolute time elapsed since fertilization, or hours' incubation, is not a good measure of the precise degree of development of an embryo because there is considerable variation. The chick embryo benefits from a detailed, well defined staging system introduced by Hamburger and Hamilton in 1951, perhaps the most precise and detailed available for any species. This paper briefly reviews the background and legacy of this table, including the remarkable work of its predecessors, Mathias Duval and Franz Keibel. It also begs the question of why the mouse embryo still lacks a similarly precise classification...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Lewis Wolpert
Here, I provide some recollections of my life, starting as a civil engineer in South Africa and how I gradually became interested in biology, particularly pattern formation. In retrospect, I think that my decision to work on chick embryos to study limb development back in 1966 turned out to be the right one. The principles discovered in these 50 years, both by my collaborators and by other colleagues, have established the principles of how the limb develops in higher vertebrates, including humans.
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Yuanyuan Cheng, David W Burt
As one of the most economically important species and a unique model organism for biological and medical research, the chicken represents the first non-mammalian amniotic species to have its genome sequenced; and so far, the chicken reference genome represents the best assembled and annotated avian genome. Since the release of the first draft genome sequence, the chicken genome assembly has improved greatly in coverage, contiguity and accuracy owing to the continuous efforts made by the chicken genomics community to generate extensive new data using novel sequencing technologies...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Megan G Davey, Adam Balic, Joe Rainger, Helen M Sang, Michael J McGrew
After decades of research investment, techniques for the robust and efficient modification of the chicken genome are now with us. The biology of the chicken has provided many challenges, as have the methods by which transgenes can be readily, stably and functionally integrated into the genome. Now that these obstacles have been surmounted and the chicken has been 'updated' to a cutting-edge modern model organism, a future as a central and versatile model in developmental biology beckons. In this review, we describe recent advances in genetic modification of the chicken and some of the many transgenic models developed for the elucidation of the mechanisms of embryogenesis...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Bertrand Pain, Clémence Kress, Sylvie Rival-Gervier
Pluripotency defines the ability of a cell to self-renew and to differentiate into all embryonic lineages both in vitro and in vivo. This definition was first established mainly with the mouse model and the establishment of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in the 1980's and extended later on to other species including non-human primates and humans. Similarly, chicken ESCs were derived and established in vitro from pregastrulating embryos leading to cells with unique properties at molecular, epigenetic and developmental levels...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Lynn T Landmesser
Birds and mammals, both being amniotes, share many common aspects of development. Thus our understanding of how limb-innervating mammalian spinal motor circuits develop was greatly influenced by the use of the avian embryo (chick/quail) to bring about experimental perturbations to identify basic underlying mechanisms. These included embryonic surgery, the application of drugs to influence activity or molecular interactions, and the ability to observe motor behavior and make physiological recordings in intact developing embryos...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Marysia Placzek, James Briscoe
The formation and wiring of the vertebrate nervous system involves the spatially and temporally ordered production of diverse neuronal and glial subtypes that are molecularly and functionally distinct. The chick embryo has been the experimental model of choice for many of the studies that have led to our current understanding of this process, and has presaged and informed a wide range of complementary genetic studies, in particular in the mouse. The versatility and tractability of chick embryos means that it remains an important model system for many investigators in the field...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Luis Puelles
Avian brain organization or brain Bauplan is identical with that of vertebrates in general. This essay visits avian studies that contained advances or discussions about brain organization, trying to explain critically what they contributed. In order to start from a specific background, the new prevailing paradigm as regards brain organization, the prosomeric model, is presented first. Next a brief historic survey is made of how ideas on this topic evolved from the start of modern neuromorphology at the end of the 19th century...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Andrea Streit
Sensory placodes contribute to much of the sensory nervous system in the vertebrate head. They give rise to parts of the eye, ear and nose, as well as to the sensory ganglia that innervate the face, tongue, oesophagus and visceral tissues. Despite their diversity, during development placodes arise from a population of common progenitor cells, which are first specified at the border of the neural plate. The chick has been particularly instrumental in dissecting the timing of these events, and recent evidence has highlighted the close relationship of placode progenitors and precursors for neural crest cells and the central nervous system...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Nicole M Le Douarin
My career in research was a second thought. I first (during 8 years) worked as a secondary school teacher and after 4-5 years, during which my two daughters were born, I found a way to escape from what was to be a lifetime job. For two years, my initiation to research was limited to the free time left by my teaching duties. This period of time was a bit "complicated" but not enough to prevent me to realize that research was really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life… And this was when I became acquainted with the chick embryo...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Shashank Gandhi, Marianne E Bronner
The neural crest is a multipotent and highly migratory cell type that contributes to many of the defining features of vertebrates, including the skeleton of the head and most of the peripheral nervous system. 150 years after the discovery of the neural crest, avian embryos remain one of the most important model organisms for studying neural crest development. In this review, we describe aspects of neural crest induction, migration and axial level differences, highlighting what is known about the underlying gene regulatory mechanisms...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Roger Keynes, Geoffrey Cook
The chick embryo has provided a prominent model system for the study of segmental patterning in the nervous system. During early development, motor and sensory axon growth cones traverse the anterior/rostral half of each somite, so avoiding the developing vertebral components and ensuring separation of spinal nerves from vertebral bones. A glycoprotein expressed on the surface of posterior half-somite cells confines growth cones to the anterior half-somites by a contact repulsive mechanism. Hindbrain segmentation is also a conspicuous feature of chick brain development...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
Ioannis Kasioulis, Kate G Storey
Signalling pathways that regulate neural progenitor proliferation and neuronal differentiation have been identified. However, we know much less about how transduction of such signals is regulated within neuroepithelial cells to direct cell fate choice during mitosis and subsequent neuronal differentiation. Here we review recent advances in the experimentally amenable chick embryo, which reveal that this involves association of signalling pathway components with cell biological entities, including mitotic centrosomes and ciliary structures...
2018: International Journal of Developmental Biology
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