Improved Techniques for Avian Embryo Culture, Somite Cell Culture, and Microsurgery

  • David S. PackardJr.
  • Christopher Cox
  • Thomas J.
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 137)


For more than a century, avian embryos have been used in the study of development. Yet, as research techniques improve, there is increased need for animal models that exhibit excellent development in vitro and are easily accessible for observations, manipulations, and cell culturing. Herein, we describe improved techniques (1) for culturing avian embryos on a transparent substratum, (2) for microsurgery and transplantation of avian embryo tissues, and (3) for the in vitro cultivation of avian somite cells.


Culture Dish Stereo Microscope Primitive Streak Vitelline Membrane Avian Embryo 
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.
    Waddington, C. H. (1932) Experiments on the development of chick and duck embryos, cultivated in vitro. Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B221, 179–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Spratt, N. T., Jr. (1947a) Development in vitro of the early chick blastoderm explanted on yolk and albumen extract saline-agar substrata. J. Exp. Zool. 106, 345–365.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Britt, L. G. and Herrmann, H. (1959) Protein accumulation in early chick embryos grown under different conditions of explantation. J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 7, 66–72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Klein, N. W., McConnel, E., and Riquier, D. J. (1964) Enhanced growth and survival of explanted chick embryos cultured under high levels of oxygen. Dev. Biol. 10, 17–44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Packard, D. S., Jr. and Jacobson, A. G. (1976) The influence of axial structures on chick somite formation. Dev. Biol. 53, 36–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Spratt, N. T., Jr. (1947b) A simple method for explanting and cultivating early chick embryos in vitro. Science 106, 452.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    DeHaan, R. L. (1967) Avian embryo culture, in Methods in Developmental Biology (Wilt, F. H. and Wessells, N. K., eds.), Crowell, New York, pp. 401–412.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Selleck, M. A. J. (1996) Culture and microsurgical manipulation of the early avian embryo, in Methods in Cell Biology, vol. 51, Academic, New York, pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Darnell, D. K. and Schoenwolf, G. C. (1997) Modern techniques for cell labeling in avian and murine embryos, in Molecular and Cellular Methods in Developmental Toxicology (Daston, G. P., ed.), CRC, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 231–272.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hamburger, V. and Hamilton, H. L. (1951) A series of normal stages in the development of the chick embryo. J. Morphol. 88, 49–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Howard, E. (1953) Some effects of sodium chloride concentration on the development of early chick blastoderms in culture. J. Cell. Comp. Physiol. 41, 237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wolff, E. and Simon, D. (1955) L’explantation et la parabiose in vitro de blastodermes incubes d’embryons de Poulet. L’organisation de la circulation extra-embryonnaire. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris 241, 1994–1996.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Packard, D. S., Jr. (1980) Somite formation in cultured embryos of the snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina. J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 59, 113–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Packard, D. S., Jr. (1986) The epiblast origin of avian somite cells, in Somites in Developing Embryos (Bellairs, R., Ede, D. A., and Lash, J. W., eds.), Plenum, New York, pp. 37–45.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Williams, B. A. and Ordahl, C. P. (1996) Manipulation of the avian segmental plate in vivo. Methods Cell Biol. 51, 81–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Conrad, G. W., Bee, J. A., Roche, S. N., and Teillet, M.-A. (1993) Fabrication of microscalpels by electrolysis of tungsten wire in a meniscus. J. Neurosci. Methods 50, 123–127.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tyrode, M. V. (1910) The mode of action of some purgative salts. Arch. Int. Pharmicodynamie Ther. 20, 205–223.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Packard, D. S., Jr., Zheng, R.-Z., and Turner, D. C. (1993) Somite pattern regulation in the avian segmental plate mesoderm. Development 117, 779–791.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Packard, D. S., Jr. (1980) Somitogenesis in cultured embryos of the japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica. Am. J. Anat. 158, 83–91.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pettway, Z., Guillory, G., and Bronner-Fraser, M. (1990) Absence of neural crest cells from the region surrounding implanted notochords in situ. Dev. Biol. 142, 335–345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Stern, H. M., Lin-Jones, L., and Hauschka, S. D. (1997) Synergistic interactions between bFGF and a TGF-β family member may mediate myogenic signaling from the neural tube. Development 124, 3511–3523.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Poole, T. J. and Coffin, J. D. (1989) Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis: two distinct morphogenetic mechanisms establish embryonic pattern. J. Exp. Zool. 251, 224–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • David S. PackardJr.
    • 1
  • Christopher Cox
    • 1
  • Thomas J.
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyState University of New York Health Science CenterSyracuse

Personalised recommendations