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Dev Biol. 2006 Jan 15;289(2):283-95. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Fate and plasticity of the endoderm in the early chick embryo.

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Department of Biological Science, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minamiohsawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan.


In vertebrates, the endoderm is established during gastrulation and gradually becomes regionalized into domains destined for different organs. Here, we present precise fate maps of the gastrulation stage chick endoderm, using a method designed to label cells specifically in the lower layer. We show that the first population of endodermal cells to enter the lower layer contributes only to the midgut and hindgut; the next cells to ingress contribute to the dorsal foregut and followed finally by the presumptive ventral foregut endoderm. Grafting experiments show that some migrating endodermal cells, including the presumptive ventral foregut, ingress from Hensen's node, not directly into the lower layer but rather after migrating some distance within the middle layer. Cell transplantation reveals that cells in the middle layer are already committed to mesoderm or endoderm, whereas cells in the primitive streak are plastic. Based on these results, we present a revised fate map of the locations and movements of prospective definitive endoderm cells during gastrulation.

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