The Use of Chick Embryos to Study Wnt Activity Gradients

  • Lisa M. Galli
  • Tiffany Barnes
  • Laura W. BurrusEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1481)


The chick spinal cord provides a valuable model for assessing Wnt signaling activity. Loss or gain of function constructs that are transfected by electroporation can be directed to a single side of the spinal cord, thus leaving the contralateral side as an internal control. Here, we describe a method for measuring Wnt signaling via the use of BAT-Gal, a β-catenin dependent Wnt reporter.

Key words

WNT1 WNT3A β-catenin BAT-Gal Electroporation Gradient Spinal cord Chick In ovo 



Many thanks to Dan Chou for the chick embryo graphics and to Jacquelyn Leiva (SFSU undergraduate student) for taking pictures of electroporated embryos. We would also like to give a tremendous thanks to Dr. Cathy Krull, who is a wonderful colleague and taught us everything that we know about electroporating chick embryos. We are also grateful to Dr. Annette Chan of the SFSU CMIC for her assistance with confocal microscopy. This research was made possible by NSF RUI MCB-1244602, NSF RUI IOS-0950892, NIH 1R15HD070206-01A1, and CSUPERB Grants to Dr. Laura Burrus and a NIH-RIMI (P20MD000262) Grant to San Francisco State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa M. Galli
    • 1
  • Tiffany Barnes
    • 1
  • Laura W. Burrus
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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