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Gene Expr Patterns. 2004 Jul;4(4):457-66.

Patterning and tissue movements in a novel explant preparation of the marginal zone of Xenopus laevis.

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Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA.


Development of the Xenopus embryo has provided an adaptable framework for the rapid evaluation of molecular factors that guide patterning and morphogenesis. We present and characterize a novel explant preparation that is useful for such studies. This preparation consists of 180 degrees of the marginal zone of the early Xenopus gastrula cultured on a fibronectin-coated substrate. In addition to a thorough description of its preparation, we analyze gene expression patterns at three stages of development. The stereotypic morphogenesis of this explant can be understood in the context of the intact embryo through a catalog of gene expression patterns providing definitive identities for epidermis, anterior and posterior neural, notochord, somitic mesoderm, and mesendoderm.

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