Chick Embryos

Incubation and Isolation
  • Ivor Mason
Part of the METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY™ book series (MIMB, volume 461)

1. Introduction

The following methods constitute a brief description of chick egg incubation and embryo harvesting. For further details concerning optimizing embryo viability during incubation, the reader is referred to the excellent work of New (1). Embryos are staged according to the staging series devised by Hamburger and Hamilton (2), which has recently been reproduced (3). The reader is also referred to Chapter 14. A further, detailed staging series for very young embryos has also been devised (4).

2. Materials

  1. 1.

    Howard's ringer. (0.12 M NaCl, 0.0015 M CaCl2, 0.005 M KCl (per liter: 7.2 g NaCl, 0.17 g CaCl2, 0.37 g KCl, pH 7.2, with very dilute HCl) containing penecillin— streptomycin (AAM, Gibco, Paisley, Scotland).

  2. 2.

    Pair of curved, sharp-pointed scissors.

  3. 3.

    Fine watchmakers' forceps (#5 or 55).

  4. 4.

    Pair of spring scissors (Vannas scissors).

  5. 5.

    Stainless-steel spatula, 5- to 8-mm wide tip.

  6. 6.

    Dissecting microscope with magnification to 50O× (minimum), preferably...


Staging Series Vitelline Membrane Specific Developmental Stage Young Embryo Cold Light Source 
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Research in the author's laboratory is supported the MRC, BBSRC, and the Wellcome Trust; and he is a research fellow of the Leverhulme Trust.


  1. 1.
    New, DAT (1966) The culture of avian embryos. Logos, London.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hamburger V, Hamilton H (1951) A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryo. J Morphol 88:49–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hamburger V, Hamilton H (1951) A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryo. Dev Dynamics 195:229–272.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eyal-Giladi H, Kochav S (1975) From cleavage to primitive streak formation; a complementary normal table and a new look at the first stages of development of the chick, I. General morphology. Dev Biol 49:321–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivor Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Centre for Developmental NeurobiologyKing's College LondonLondonUK

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