In Situ Hybridization of Whole-Mount Embryos

  • Murray Hargrave
  • Peter Koopman
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 123)


Since the early analyses of gene expression in the Drosophila embryo (1), whole-mount in situ hybridization has become one of the most powerful and versatile tools in developmental biology. The ability to visualize a gene’s expression both in time and space is a necessary first step in investigating the roles of that gene in cell differentiation and morphogenesis in the developing embryo. Unlike conventional in situ hybridization to tissue sections, the whole-mount procedure provides a three-dimensional readout of the sites of gene expression. This, combined with sequence analysis, allows an initial prediction of gene function and provides the basis for further investigation. Unique patterns of gene expression have also been used to define regions of developing tissue within areas that otherwise appear anatomically uniform.


Saline Sodium Citrate Sheep Serum Post Coitum Stringency Wash Endogenous Phosphatase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Tuatz, D. and Pfiefle, C. (1989) A non-radioactive in situ hybridization method for the localization of specific RNAs in Drosophila embryos reveals translational control of the segmentation gene hunchback. Chromosoma 98, 81–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Christiansen, J. H., Dennis, C. L., Wicking, C. A., Monkley, S. J., Wilkinson, D. G., and Wainwright, B. J. (1995) Murine Wnt-11 and Wnt-12 have temporally and spatially restricted expression patterns during embryonic development. Mech. Dev. 51, 341–350.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wilkinson, D. G. and Nieto, M. A. (1993) Detection of messenger RNA by in situ hybridization to tissue sections and whole mounts. Methods Enzymol. 225, 361–373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wilkinson, D. G. (1992) Whole mount in situ hybridization of vertebrate embryos, in In Situ Hybridization: A Practical Approach (Wilkinson, D. G., ed.), IRL Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 75–83Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jowett, T., Mancera, M., Amores, A., and Yan, Y. (1996) In situ hybridization to embryo whole mounts and tissue sections: mRNA detection and application to developmental studies, in In Situ Hybridization (Clark, M., ed.), Chapman and Hall, London, UK, pp. 91–121.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jowett, T. and Lettice, L. (1994) Whole-mount in situ hybridizations on zebrafish embryos using a mixture of digoxigenin-and fluorescein-labelled probes. Trends Genet. 10, 73,74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hauptmann, G. and Gerster, T. (1994) Two-colour whole-mount in situ hybridization to vertebrate and Drosophila embryos. Trends Genet. 10, 266.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wright, E., Hargrave, M. R., Christiansen, J., Cooper, L., Kun, J., Evans, T., Gangadharan, U., Greenfield, A., and Koopman, P. (1995) The Sry-related gene Sox-9 is expressed during chondrogenesis in mouse embryos. Nature Genet. 9, 15–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murray Hargrave
    • 1
  • Peter Koopman
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Molecular and Cellular BiologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations