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BMC Dev Biol. 2009 Jun 23;9:37. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-9-37.

Red fluorescent Xenopus laevis: a new tool for grafting analysis.

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  • 1Institut für Zellbiologie (Tumorforschung), Universität Duisburg-Essen, D-45122 Essen, Germany.



Fluorescent proteins such as the green fluorescent protein (GFP) have widely been used in transgenic animals as reporter genes. Their use in transgenic Xenopus tadpoles is especially of interest, because large numbers of living animals can easily be screened. To track more than one event in the same animal, fluorescent markers that clearly differ in their emission spectrum are needed.


We established the transgenic Xenopus laevis strain tom3 that expresses ubiquitously red fluorescence from the tdTomato gene through all larval stages and in the adult animal. This new tool was applied to track transplanted blastemas obtained after tail amputation. The blastema can regenerate ectopic tails marked by red fluorescence in the host animal. Surprisingly, we also found contribution of the host animal to form the regenerate.


We have established a useful new tool to label grafts in Xenopus transplantation experiments.

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