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Dev Dyn. 2001 Mar;220(3):284-9.

Improved method for chick whole-embryo culture using a filter paper carrier.

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MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


We describe a simple method of chick whole-embryo culture, which uses a filter paper carrier to hold the early blastoderm and vitelline membranes under tension while the embryo grows on a substratum of agar-albumen. This is a quick and efficient means of setting up cultures of chick embryos beginning at pre-primitive streak stages to stage 10 (stages X--XIV, Eyal-Giladi and Kochav [1976] Dev Biol 49:321-337; stages 1--10, Hamburger and Hamilton [1951] J Morphol 88:49--92). This is an improvement on the original method of New, which used a glass ring and watch glass (New [1955] Exp Morphol 3:320--331). Our modification of New's method, which we call EC (Early Chick, pronounced EASY) culture, facilitates several manipulations in early chick embryos, including microsurgery, grafting, bead implantation, microinjection, and electroporation. Using the EC method, embryos at stage 8 and older can be readily cultured either dorsal-side up (in contrast to New's method) or ventral-side up, as desired; embryos younger than stage 8 can be culture only ventral-side up (as with New's method). We also discuss some alternative methods for setting up these cultures.

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