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Anat Rec. 2001 Feb 1;262(2):221-6.

Classification scheme for genes expressed during formation and progression of the avian primitive streak.

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Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132, USA.


We have systematically examined the expression patterns of thirteen genes by in situ hybridization during the formation and progression of the avian primitive streak. Based on common patterns of expression, we classify these genes into three distinct groups. Group 1 genes, subdivided into group 1A (Wnt8c, Slug, Vg1, and Nodal) and group 1B (Fgf8, Brachyury, and Cripto), were expressed first in the epiblast and then, throughout most of the length of the primitive streak. Group 2 genes, namely, cNot1, Sonic hedgehog (Shh), Hnf3 beta and Chordin, were confined to the rostral end of the primitive streak, and then, to Hensen's node. In contrast, Group 3 genes, comprising Goosecoid (GSC) and Crescent, were expressed in the hypoblast. This classification scheme provides a rational basis for categorizing genes expressed during avian gastrulation, and such systematization is likely to provide insight into the relationships among different genes and their potential roles in key events of gastrulation.

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