Avian embryos have been used as a model system to study development for more than two centuries and have proven to be particularly useful to study events that occur at early developmental stages, when other amniote species are difficult to access and maintain in vitro. They lend themselves to embryo-logical manipulation, such as interspecies tissue transplantation or cell lineage analysis as well as observation of cellular behavior in the living embryo. At the time of egg laying, the embryo is a large, translucent disc of approximately 50,000 cells that is easily accessible and develops well in vitro from before primitive streak formation. Two well-defined staging systems are available that describe preprimitive streak stages (using Roman numbers I–XIV ) and the stages after primitive streak formation (in Arabic numbers 2–46 ). With recent technical advances, like introduction of expression constructs, antisense RNA (morpholinos), and dsRNA by electroporation,...
KeywordsChick Embryo Ventral Side Primitive Streak Vitelline Membrane Glass Ring
I thank Andrew Bailey for assistance with photography and Claudio Stern for useful comments on the manuscript.
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